Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail Feasibility Study Begins

The Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail feasibility study formally began on 22 February 2016, with the selected principle consultants RMCG meeting with the study’s Steering Committee.

This would be an approximately 70km extension of the O’Keefe Rail Trail south to what is increasingly becoming the outer edge of Melbourne.

The major funding for this study has been provided by the current State Government, in conjunction with funding contributions from the Mitchell Shire Council and City of Greater Bendigo Council, plus ‘in kind’ direct community input.
RMCG, which has an office in Bendigo, will also engage the services of other local specialist companies to assist in the study.

The Steering Committee’s representation comes from the Mitchell Shire Council, the City of Greater Bendigo Council, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, with community involvement from the Mitchell Bicycle User Group and the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail.

The branch line from the north-east main line up to Heathcote closed back in 1968, and some sections of the corridor have been sold off. As the study progresses, engagement with landowners and communities will take place to inform, seek a better understanding of and take into account the various land ownership and use changes that have occurred since the former railway was recovered. The study is also expected to highlight engineering, associated road traffic, heritage and environmental matters that would need to be taken into account when considering this trail proposal.
The study will conduct a full investigation of all related aspects relating to this proposed trail, plus possible linkages with other trails in this area of regional Victoria. A final report is expected later in 2016.

Click here for a full description of the O’Keefe Rail Trail.

V40 455 Pyalong south cutting looking south 2013 web
This long disused rail cutting near Pyalong may once again have people passing through it. (Garry Long)

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