Launceston to Herrick (Tas) is Growing a Rail Trail
There may finally be some rail trail activity in Tasmania with $89,000 of funding being issued to the Scottsdale Rotary Club Inc. for a section of the old Launceston to Herrick rail line, tentatively known as the North East Rail Trail.
The first stage will be a 20 km stretch from Tonganah to Legerwood. Tonganah is just 5 km south east of the existing end of the rail line at Scottsdale, near the recently closed saw mills.
Spokesman for the Scottsdale Rotary Club, Robin Thompson, says that “The grant from the Community Fund will get the Trail up and running, although we will need further funds to complete surfaces to the standard we are aiming to achieve.”
Mr. Thompson added, “We are excited about the opportunities for bike riders and local businesses. This first section will be the driver to extend the Trail through to Herrick at the bottom of the Welborough Pass and our long term vision is for the Trail to run form Launceston through Scottsdale to Legerwood and on the Herrick – a bike way to the East Coast”.
Click here for more details about the North East (Launceston to Herrick) Rail Trail.
Opening Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail
At the beginning of February 2008 the first sod was turned to begin development of this great trail. Frustratingly over the last few years development has been blocked by a few seasons of unprecendent high rain falls, and other complications.
The last section to be developed was the boardwalk over Kelly’s Swamp, and progress was hindered by the weather but finally this last section is now complete.
After the official opening of the trail on May 31st, the full trail will be open so if you’re int eh area on the weekend of 2 June, get the bike or hiking boots out and give the Port Fairy to Warnambool Rail Trail a whirl!
Please visit our Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail description for more information about the trail.
Late Update: Here’s a news article featuring a video of the opening.
Daylesford-Macedon Ranges Rail Trail (VIC) Passes Inspection
Members of the Trentham based Daylesford-Macedon Ranges Rail Trail Working Group recently hosted a tour of inspection of the proposed Rail Trail route by representatives from Bicycle Network Victoria.
BNV’s Jason den Hollander, Team Leader-Facilities Development and Kate Butler, Recreation Trail Development Officer visited sections of the disused railway corridor through the picturesque Wombat State Forest as part of the tour.
Coordinator David Wilson said that the group has been working closely on the proposal with Bicycle Network Victoria for around two years. “The inspection with Jason and Kate will assist their role with us in an upcoming feasibility study to be conducted by Hepburn and Macedon Ranges Shire Councils” David said.
“I’m looking forward to the feasibility study and working with local groups to smooth the way for the Baillieu government to fund the Rail Trail” Jason said.
Bicycle Network Victoria’s website includes a number of articles on what has also been named the Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail, including a brochure produced in April 2011 with the assistance of the working group.
Go to www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/change-the-world/91760/ for more information, with a brochure download available.
“The feasibility study is the first step in developing a way forward for the State government to deliver the Daylesford-Macedon Ranges Rail Trail. We are excited to support those in the region to provide a clear direction for the trail” Kate said.
The working group has also been greatly assisted in its activities by Railtrails Australia, which has coverage on its website at www.railtrails.org.au/news
“Both organisations have played key roles in the development of rail trails around Victoria and in other States and their expertise will be keenly sought for the feasibility study. The Rail Trail will result in significant recreational and economic benefits for local communities and the region” David Wilson said.
Contact David Wilson,Tel. 5424 1882 for further comment.
Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail (Vic) one step closer
The Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail, in the central highlands north of Melbourne, is today one step closer to being realised with the state Government granting $50,000 towards a strategy plan to help guide the development of the Rail Trail.
The Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty, announced that the Government had granted $50,000 towards the project.
Donna Petrovich, MP for North Western Region says, “I congratulate the City of Ballarat, Macedon Ranges Shire, Hepburn Shire and Central Goldfields Shire Councils on creating a united approach to trail projects in this region. The Victorian Government is proud to invest in initiatives like these because they bring important benefits to the community and encourage more people to get together, get more active more often and enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of areas like these.
“The Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail proposal is an exciting concept and represents a valuable tourism asset for the Macedon Ranges region”, she continues.
“We want to make it easier for communities to stay active, enjoy their sport and recreation facilities and lead healthier lives. The first step in achieving this is to identify opportunities and priorities through strategic planning,” Minister Delahunty said.
The Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail is part of the‘Crossing Borders Tracks and Trails’ project which is a joint initiative involving the City of Ballarat, Macedon Ranges Shire, Hepburn Shire and Central Goldfields Shire Councils, which have also contributed $25,000 to the study.
The Daylesford-Macedon Ranges Rail Trail Working Group was formed by local residents several years ago to encourage the councils to make more use of this corridor, part of which is already open as the Domino Rail Trail. Rail Trails Australia has been working closely with the group and very pleased to see these efforts bringing another high potential rail trail closer to development.
$2m extension for Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic)
A Media Release from the Premier of Victoria. (3 April 2012)
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today announced $2 million from the Victorian Coalition Government to extend the Great Southern Rail Trail from Foster to Welshpool.
Victorian Government announces funding forGreat Southern Rail Trail extension.
Speaking at Toora today, Mr Ryan said the Great Southern Rail Trail Extension Project would add more than 18 kms to the popular tourist attraction and further showcase the natural beauty of the region.
“The project will link four communities in the Corners Inlet Tourism Precinct and create a wonderful recreational and tourism experience for both locals and visitors,” Mr Ryan said.
“Given the popularity of the current 49 km trail from Leongatha to Foster, the addition of Toora, Agnes and Welshpool to the trail is expected to provide a significant economic boost for the region.”
Mr Ryan said the Great Southern Rail Trail Extension Project would include three sections:
- Section 1: Foster to Toora involving construction of 8.6 km of trail, with four bridges and associated infrastructure including signage, safety crossings, seating and bike parking.
- Section 2: Toora to Agnes involving construction of 4.54 km of trail, with three bridges and associated infrastructure.
- Section 3: Agnes to Welshpool involving construction of 5.33 km of trail, with five bridges and infrastructure.
Mr Ryan said the $2.9 million extension project included $900,000 from the South Gippsland Shire Council and $2 million from the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.
“The Regional Growth Fund is the Coalition’s flagship regional development initiative, specifically designed to support jobs, growth and prosperity in regional and rural Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.
Click here for our description of the Great Southern Rail Trail in Gippsland
2012 Easter Rail Trails User Survey
Once again the Tourism and Hospitality Research Unit at La Trobe University is conducting the tri-annual survey of rail trail usage. This year the survey will expand to cover a wider area, aiming to reach accross most of Australia’s rail trails.
The aim is to get feedback on the contributions rail trails make to the local communities and municipalities through which they travel.
A flyer is beging distributed to as many trail management groups as possible during this week, so look out for them and tell your rail trail loving friends about it. The flyer will contain this link to the survey https://www.research.net/s/RailTrails2012 and also a QR code for you if you wish to take time out of your trail travels to fill out the survey on your smart phone.
If you are interested the results from the 2009 survey, they can be found here: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/thru/publications/research-reports
For more information abouth the survey plese contact Dr Sue Beeton at La Trobe University, S.Beeton@latrobe.edu.au or phone +61 3 9479 3500.
La Trobe University, Rail Trails Australia and rail trail management and friends groups Australia wide thank you for your assistance.
Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail (Vic) – Flood Damage
Like a number of roads, pathways and culverts in the region, both completed and under construction sections of the new trail have suffered extensive damage.
Glen Sutcliffe, Site Superintendant from Mansfield Shire Council said, “Although there is lots of minor damage evident along the trail, some major flood damage has occurred in the already open sections and under construction sections.
“Mr Sutcliffe said that in a way it is fortunate that it happened now rather than later as we can affect repairs with crews working on the trail and iron out any bugs before the trail is in full service.”
Bridge works in the Cathkin flood plain are close to being completed and very fortunately all the heavy construction works were completed just before the rain, the area is now inundated.
Project manager, Ian Geer said that, “Once things have dried out somewhat contractors will be in full swing again and we are still trying achieve having all our works completed by the end of March, all be it with a few loose ends to tidy up.”
From all reports the sections of the rail trail that are currently open are being very well used by locals and visitors alike. Recent visitors to the trail were a representative group from the City of Greater Bendigo and Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail who were very impressed with what they saw.
Old Beechy Rail Trail (Vic) Fun Run
Discover the beauty of the Otways on the Old Beechy Rail Trail with a 16Km Fun Run or a 6Km Run/Walk, between Barongarook and Gellibrand.
This inaugural event is a fund raising initiative of the Rotary Club of Colac with monies raised going to local community projects.
Awards will be allocated to winners in the Male, Female and Child (under 16) categories, in both the 16 Km and 6 Km Runs. All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation.
Race start times
Date : March 18th, 2012
16km Run 9:00 AM
6km Run/Walk 10:00AM
The Old Beechy Rail Trail is beautiful and challenging, with undulating terrain, exhilarating descents and on the part of the linear trail that has been chosen for this event, just one steep ascent.
The 16Km Run will take you from Barongarook, down hill through delightful cool bush to Birnam Station and the first drink station on the run, at the 6.3Km mark.
Conquer the hill, then traverse through undulating bush and pastoral landscape to Kawarren which is the 8 Km stage and another drink station.
Kawarren is also the start line for the 6 Km Walk/Run.
Both runs will end at Rex Norman park in the delightful Otways village of Gellibrand.
Numbers are limited so get your entry in early !
Enjoy the unlimited benefits of participating in a healthy outdoor pursuit and raising money for local charities.
Please visit our Old Beechy Rail Trail Description for more information about the trail.
Grand Ridge Rail Trail (Vic) Officially Re-opened
Three years after the bushfires that destroyed several bridges, the Grand Ridge Rail Trail in Gippsland, Victoria, has been officially reopened.
$1.6m from State Government funding was spent to repair the damage, including the construction of two 66m steel bridges. An official ceremony on 10 February was attended by both State and Federal Members of Parliament, and a number of local community organisations.
This means the full 13 km length from Boolarra to Mirboo North is open in time for the the Labour Day long weekend.
Please visit our Grand Ridge Rail Trail Description for more information about the trail.
Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Grants (QLD)
Community Grants are open again this year for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail as well as the Boonah to Ipswitch Trail (not a rail trail).
The Community Partnerships Program is a grants program open to not-for-profit, incorporated community organisations, local governments and tertiary institutions along and associated with the Boonah to Ipswich Trail and/or Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.
The closing date is 27 April. Please note that volunteer contribution including time, labour etc is considered as a $ value toward eligible projects. If you have any questions or would like a member of the trails team to talk to your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact
Ph. +61 7 3405 8566 (x27566)
Ph. +61 7 3237 1741 (x 71741)
Please visit our Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Description for more information about the trail.