Work Begins on Historic Northern Rivers Rail Trail Bridge
Posted on 12/02/22
Construction work on the Tweed Valley Rail Trail (part of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail in NSW) is now in full swing. Rail Trails Australia NSW representative for Northern Rivers, Stephen Brown, along with fellow NSW representatives John O’Brien and Kathy Furney were pleased to be able to inspect the works this week.
Work has commenced on the restoration of the historic Dunbible Creek Bridge with the scaffolding and encapsulation in readiness for sandblasting and painting of the steel sections. Once this work is finish, prefabricated decking and handrails will be installed. This bridge will become one of the many attractions on this trail.
The bridge is a Californian Steel Pratt Truss Superstructure of 65.32 metres in length and is an example of the work of NSW Railways Chief Engineer Henry Deane who was responsible for the design of the rail line which opened in 1894. There are 25 bridges on this section – most are in original condition and will be reused along with the two tunnels. The rail trail will detour away from the formation for only a few bridges.
They were also informed that local historic research revealed that a railway station once existed at Dunbible. This station was demolished; however, a section of rail line will remain and will be exposed and visible on the trail. A parking area will be established with a picnic shelter and informative historical signs. This will enable the public, who are touring sections of the Tweed Valley, to park their cars and walk down this shady section of the trail and view this historical structure. The only railway station buildings that exist today are the Murwillumbah Station and Stokers Siding (which does not exist today in its original position).
The Tweed Valley Rail Trail will have mainly a gravel surface. On closer inspection the test section that was constructed in December last year has settle into a very solid base and Stephen is looking forward to his first cycle ride on it. Tweed Council Project Director Iain Lonsdale has revealed that sections of the rail trail in the villages and towns will be sealed and in addition a bridal path along a section will be created for the horse riding public.
RTA thanks the principle contractors, Hazel Bros., for their co-operation with the site inspection and remind the public that the Tweed Valley Rail Trail is not open yet. Please respect all construction site notices and not enter the site as we want them to proceed unhindered with building what is the beginning of another great rail trail for NSW.