Railway Track Returns To Cowwarr After 20 years. (GPRT – VIC)
Posted on 25/03/14
After a 20 year absence, some railway track is returning to Cowwarr as part of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail to form a display of a historic GY freight wagon.
The Walhalla Goldfields Railway has been commissioned by the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee of Management to lay a 12 metre section of broad gauge railway line on the outskirts of Cowwarr to house a historic GY freight wagon as part of an interpretive display for rail trail users.
“We are delighted to undertake this work for the rail trail committee and to see the return of some railway line to Cowwarr” said Michael Leaney, President of the Walhalla Goldfields Railway. “Our way and works volunteers have maintained many of the skills required for railway track construction by traditional methods which have died out with increasing mechanisation. It’s pleasing that the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee saw the Walhalla Goldfields Railway as being an important resource for this type of work and selected us to construct this track section. It’s one volunteer community group helping another.” he added.
The Walhalla Goldfields Railway is supplying the rail, sleepers and skilled labour while the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail is looking after the ballast. Materials have been sourced via the Walhalla Goldfields Railway’s existing stock and via the Registrar of Tourism and Heritage Railways who has also facilitated the provision of a GY wagon for the display.
“We’re very excited to see the return of rail track to Cowwarr even if it’s only 12 metres long” advised Helen Hoppner, Chairperson of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee of Management. “To have this railway track and wagon with interpretation signage along the rail trail route will add greatly to the wonderful experience the rail trail provides to walkers and cyclists. The expertise and skills that the Walhalla Goldfields Railway is providing is invaluable and they have made getting this project completed seamless. We are very thankful that we have a proactive, practical organisations like the Walhalla Goldfields Railway in close proximity and that they have been willing to assist in making the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail a fantastic tourism asset for everyone to enjoy.” she added.
Construction of the 12 metre section of railway track will occur on Friday 21 March and the GY Wagon will be delivered to the site in late March.
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For more infomration about the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail, please click here.