Great Southern Rail Trail Extension to Toora is Now Open (VIC)
Posted on 01/09/13
Cyclists, runners and walkers turned out in force in on Sunday 25 August to test themselves on the newest section of the Great Southern Rail Trail in Gippsland Victoria, a nine kilometre section of trail linking Foster and Toora.
Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan officially opened the new section of trail. Mr Ryan said the Foster to Toora section completed stage one of the $2.9 million three stage Great Southern Rail Trail Extension project, which received $2 million in funding support from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.
“This is the first stage of a total of 18.5 kilometres worth of extensions to the Great Southern Rail Trail that will link Foster to Welshpool. Stage two of the project, which involves an extension from Toora to Agnes will begin later this year, with stage three from Agnes to Welshpool to begin next year.”
The South Gippsland Shire Council has contributed $900,000 to the project. In his speech.
This extension brings the total length open to 57 kilometres, with the new section at the same high standard as the rest of the trail. Despite surrounding areas being sodden the new trail surface was firm and smooth. The most interesting points are probably the Franklin River bridge and of course the wind turbines on the hill behind Toora. The communities of Foster and Toora are also looking to develop their respective station areas and make them part of the community again.
Along with the further extensions planned, the critical project is to ‘Bridge the Gap’ between Koonwarra and Meeniyan where several large bridges require a challenging on-highway diversion. As reported previously South Gippsland Shire Council is investigating options in this section and the need for this was brought up several times during speeches.