Girgarre to Stanhope Rail Trail nearing completion
Posted on 30/01/22
Work began on developing a rail trail between Girgarre and Stanhope back in 2011. Two years later a committee was formed and began work on the restoration of the old railway platform and renovation off site of an old building, transforming it into a replica gangers hut. Volunteers have persisted with turning their vision of a rail trail going south from Girgarre to Stanhope into reality. They were successful in getting a 2.5km trail built going south towards Stanhope, ending at Mason Street. The full distance to Stanhope is 6km, so there was more disused rail land to be transformed for community use. A number of community volunteers from Stanhope joined in and over a few recent years a wonderful collaborative effort has finally brought about completion of this 6km rail trail. Support has been provided by a range of groups:
The community resurrected the local Landcare Group (which had been in recess for 10 years!) and achieved success in obtaining a Landcare/VicTrack grant $24,000. This enabled fencing to be built along the boundary with adjoining landholders and direct seeding to revegetate along the trail.
Other financial support to complete this rail trail came from the Gardner Foundation, the Bendigo Bank and sponsorship from local businesses. The hours of effort in administrative tasks, communication and physical labour must be acknowledged, because without the local people doing the many tasks required, none of this would have happened.
The final step in completing this work will be sign-off by Goulburn Murray Water, which owns and operates the water channels over which the two new bridges with their safety railing have been installed.
Well done to the communities of these towns, who have planned, raised funds, lobbied, obtained access to the land, and done the physical work to make this rail trail. What a testament to their commitment!