Tiger Rail Trail Feasibility Study Update

In 2014 the Colac Otway Shire completed investigations into the feasibility and construction of the ‘Tiger Rail Trail from Forrest to Birregurra” which would follow the alignment of the former Cape Otway Forrest Railway line which opened in 1891. The railway line route had a number of stations along the journey including Forrest, Yaugher, Gerangamete, Barwon Downs, Murroon, Deans Marsh, Whoorel and Birregurra. The proposed trail’s “Tiger” name comes from the days when trains stopped running between the towns and a converted Dodge sedan, painted black and yellow, ferried passengers instead.

Due to the complexity of establishing an agreed alignment for the proposed ‘Tiger Rail Trail’ and following a detailed analysis of the issues and opportunities for the proposed shared trail, Council determined not to carry out the feasibility study for the originally proposed construction of a rail trail between Forrest and Birregurra, and instead directed that a limited feasibility study for the extension of the existing Forrest shared trail to Barwon Downs be undertaken.

Consultancy firm Transplan Pty Ltd examined the feasibility of extending the existing Forrest shared trail through to Barwon Downs. Due to the private ownership of the former railway alignment and limited support from private landowners for the trail, it was recommended that Council does not undertake any further work in extending the Tiger Rail Trail from Forrest to Barwon Downs. Colac Otway Shire at the time considered the feasibility report and as at October 2021 has no future plans to implement an extension of the trail from the finish of the existing shared path through to Barwon Downs.

The only constructed section of the Tiger Rail Trail (shared trail) is that around the Forrest township which extends 6km north of Forrest, ending just beyond Yaugher Road.

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