Could this be the first rail trail on a NSW Government railway corridor?
At a meeting of the Tumbarumba Shire Council on 25th July, councillors voted 6 to 2 in support of a 21km rail trail between Tumbarumba and Rosewood in southern NSW.
This would be a pilot rail trail which may not necessarily need legisltaive change. Tumbarumba was in a good position as a pilot trail due to a feasibility study having already been carried out. This would be a short trail of approx 20km through some of the most scenic country in Australia.
This followed a meeting the previous night of people interested in establishing a trail between Tumbarumba and Rosewood, which saw over 70 attendees turn out on a chilly night. The forum gave everyone the opportunity to put their view and the overwhelming sentiment was that a potential cycle trail in the area would have a huge to boost tourism. This small section of trail has strong support from Hyne Timber, adjacent vineyards and berry farm, Gone Barney nursery and coffee shop, Rosewood store and the Glenroy Heritage Museum.
Many of the attendees have had first-hand experience at using rail trails in Victoria and New Zealand and to these residents the benefits to the local community were painfully obvious. As a result of this meeting a steering committee of 12 was elected, and they will work with Tumbarumba Shire, NSW Government and tourism bodies to garner further support.
The Minister for Transport NSW, Gladys Berejiklian, has stated that “The government is happy to consider proposals for the use of disused rail lines, where there are clear community benefits and strong community support”. She also stated that the government would need to be confident that the proposal had the widespread support of the community in question.
Rail Trails Australia has worked closely with the Riverina Highlands Rail Trail Committee over the years, and given that the Government’s requirements have been met for this section, feel that this project should have a real chance of becoming a reality. Rail Trails Australia will continue to work with the Committee and Council.
Following on from the community meeting, a local committee for the Tumbarumba to Rosewood section of the rail trail has been formed.
For more information on the proposed Riverina Highlands Rail Trail click here.