Further enhancements of Old Beechy Rail Trail (2)

Mayor Frank Buchanan has noted that “not only has the track been upgraded and rerouted, numerous shelters and bike racks have been installed, as well as 31 interpretative signs and 23 seats along the trail, and a myriad of new trees planted. … This trail now offers a safer and more enjoyable experience to a wide variety of people, from cycling enthusiasts to bird watchers, historians and nature lovers.”

The enhancement has been funded by the Victorian Government, through a Regional Development Victoria grant, and the Colac Otway Shire Council.

Rail Trails Australia commends the work of the Colac Otway Shire Council, the Victorian Government, the Friends of the Old Beechy Rail Trail, the private and commercial landowners who have allowed public access through their land and the numerous volunteers who have supported the development of the Trail.

2 Photo Old Beechy Rail Trail Ditchley Gully 02 20150218


Extension of Old Beechy Trail

The Old Beechy Rail Trail enhancement will be officially opened this week, providing a safer and more enjoyable experience for riders and walkers exploring the trail.

The 50 kilometre trail runs from Colac to Ferguson, following sections of the old rail line.

The Victorian Government contributed $500,000 to the project through a Regional Development Victoria grant, with Council providing more than $330,000.

Mayor Frank Buchanan said the project has resulted in sections of the trail being upgraded and 11.6 kilometres being rerouted off-road.

“This is a great project for our region, and is another step in completing the vision to bring back to life an integral part of our history,” he said.

“The Old Beechy Railway was an incredibly important link for saw millers and farmers in the Otways who relied on it to cart timber and later vegetables and livestock to Colac, because of poor road conditions.

“While the railway closed in 1962, the landscape that the track weaved its way through remained a rich and valued part of our region, filled with majestic forests, scenic farmland and rolling hills. It’s also home to a range of rare and threatened animal and plant species.

“It’s an ideal place for a walking trail, and through this enhancement project, not only has the track been upgraded and rerouted, numerous shelters and bike racks have been installed, as well as 31 interpretative signs and 23 seats along the trail, and a myriad of new trees planted.

“This trail now offers a safer and more enjoyable experience to a wide variety of people, from cycling enthusiasts to bird watchers, historians and nature lovers.”

Cr Buchanan said the project would not have been possible without the cooperation, support and goodwill shown by a range of stakeholders.

“Our community has been fantastic – from the private and commercial landowners who have allowed public access through their land, to the numerous volunteers who gave their time and hard work to bring this project to fruition,” he said.


O’Keefe Rail Trail Extension Updates (Northern Victoria)

The ongoing project to extend the O’Keefe Rail Trail in northern Victoria a futher 26km south to Heathcote is progressing well. Hopes are also high for a study to look at a further extension south to Wallan.

Great assistance is provided by the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail (FOBKRT) volunteers, both in the planning and design of the rail trail, along with physically putting in amenities such as historical signage. The group provides the updates below.

Check our website description for more detail and a map of the rail trail. This includes a wonderful new video on the rail trail by Bendigo Tourism.

  1. With the O’Keefe Rail Trail new causeway’s base now completed across Lake Eppalock, the final gravel type surface material is currently being applied for this Lake Eppalock – Derrinal area of the trail. While not currently open to the general public, it is hoped that this section will be opened in early January 2015, but will be dependant on the installation of certain new trail bridges. More detail closer to the date.
  2. The City of Greater Bendigo Council’s contract for the manufacture and installation of five new trail bridges on the O’Keefe Rail Trail extension project has recently been awarded to contractor Open Space Infrastructure Australia P/L. These bridges are for the Knowsley-Derrinal-Heathcote sections of the new trail. The early indications are that the first of these bridges should be installed in early January 2015.
  3. Information on the progress of the trail’s construction in the above area can be obtained from the City of Greater Bendigo Council on (03)54346000.
  4. The Victorian Labor Party is committed to funding a $150,000 feasibility study for a Heathcote to Wallan Rail Trail, should the party be elected to govern at the 29th Nov elections. With an announcement being made by Euroa electorate Labor candidate Clare Malcolm and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Development Jacinata Allan, and backed by local support funding from both the Mitchell Shire Council and the City of Greater Bendigo Council, this commitment is good news to advancing the trail proposal. That proposal is for this trail to be the link to networking the Melbourne Metro trail network with a number of major off-road trails in regional Victoria.


V40 307 Lake Eppalock Construction 2014 10 Exit entry ramp into Derrinal cutting
FOKBRT volunteer Ken Hanson watches work on the trail formation at Derrinal near Lake Eppalock. (Garry Long)

Coominya to Wanora Social Ride (Brisbane Valley Rail Trail)

Cycling Somerset are holding a ride along the lower section of the BVRT on November 1 from Coominya (.Meet at 7am at Bunney road Coominya) rideing through the towns of Lowood and Ferrnvale to Warona, where transport will be provide back to Coominya.

Lunch will be at the Fernvale Tavern, (at your own cost and Air Condictioned)

Make sure you bring sun protection and plenty of water.

For more information about this ride plesae contact

Mark mlinnett@railtrails.org.au or Paul paul@paulcomputers.com.au

For information about the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail click HERE



Koroit Station restoration

A total of $80,000 will be spent in the restoration project on the Port Fairy to Warrnambool rail trail in Wesrtern Victoria, which will most likely be finished by early 2015.

The platform canopy is the first part to be seen when riding into Koroit, and this will be restored. Old mortar between bricks, and the painting of eaves and bands in original colours are also targetted. Over the years a lot of the interior has been restored, and now it is an opportunity to work on the exterior. There will also be funds to refurbish the interior of the second waiting room.

The Port Fairy to Warrnambool rail trail committee of management has been searching for funding for the restoration. It received $20,000 from the Uebergang Foundation, and $15,000 form the Jones Foundation. The committee already had raised and earmarked $5.000 for the project. Recently, after a successful application, the State government has announced $49.000 towards the work.

The Koroit station is a beautiful building and is a popular community meeting area for cyclists and tourists as a halfway stop on the trail between Warrnambool and Port Fairy. The interior is used for meetings, parties and as an office.

Click here for more information about this trail

P1020148 660
Koroit station

Rail Trails Australia 2014 AGM

Rail Trails Australia members and supporters are welcome to attend the Annual General Meeting of Rail Trails Australia. It will be held on Friday, November 7th from 6.30 pm at the North Carlton Community Centre, in the former North Carlton Railway Station building in Solly Avenue, North Carlton. This is located on the Inner Circle Rail Trail.


1 jeremy-cheesmanWe are pleased to have Dr Jeremy Cheesman speaking at this year’s AGM. Jeremy is a Director of Marsden Jacob Associates in Melbourne.

Marsden Jacob Associates is undertaking a review of the Victorian government’s Regional and Rural Trails Program, which includes rail trails, as well as working with the Victorian Trails Coordinating Committee to develop an Investment Framework to guide future trail development in the State of Victoria. While state government based trails programs are not new, we understand this type of review is, particularly for rail trails. We look forward to Dr Cheesman discussing this review, and the findings around how trails generate community and economic benefits and costs for regional Victorian communities.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to the Secretary, Frank Kinnersley to assist in planning for numbers.
E: admin@railtrails.org.au
P: 03 9306 4846



Great Southern Rail Trail to “bridge” the gap (Gippsland)

V24-010 Black Spur bridges announcement 2014-10 DSC 0046 300
Joining Mr Ryan at the announcement were The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Danny O’Brien, Bruce Beatson, Cr Mohya Davies and South Gippsland Shire Council CEO Tim Tamlin.

The Deputy Premier of the Victorian Government, Mr Peter Ryan, has announced that there would be $1.3M funding for the 2.6 km section of the Great Southern Rail Trail between Koonwarra and Meeniyan. Along with $560,000 from the South Gippsland Shire Council this funding will allow three bridges to be restored and or constructed to join the two sections of the rail trail together.

The need to address this gap was noted by Rail Trail Connections earlier this year. The funding is great news and will create a continuous 69km rail trail from what is practically two separate rail trails at the moment, allowing the Great Southern Rail Trail to achieve its full potential.

Funding for the project has been signed off and tenders will be let shortly. The project will be carried out in two stages involving the reconstruction of two bridges and construction of a new 146m bridge across the Tarwin River.

It is planned to have this very scenic section of the trail open by December 2015.

More details and map on the rail trail here.

V24-458 Koonwarra Bridge 3 looking north 2008-06 5061 660
One of the two bridges to be reconstructed. The Tarwin River is beyond the cutting.
V24-458 Koonwarra Bridge 2 looking north 2008-06 5066 660
The long bridge over the Tarwin River closest to Koonwarra

Enjoy a Guided walk along the Dularcha National Park Rail Trail (QLD)

The Glasshouse Country  Festival on again, Saturday 25 October .

So why not Join the “Mooloolah Mob” for a one hour walk from Mooloolah to Landborough via the Dularcha National Park Rail Trail (and Tunnell)

This walk will start at 8.15am Saturday 25 Oct. at Martin Rungert Park Mooloolah .

You must bring your own hat,water and sunscreen and money or go card for your return City train fare back to Mooloolah.

You may like to enjoy the Landborough Day events before catching a train back to Mooloolah.

For train departure time click  HERE

For all detail about the Glasshouse Counrty Festival click HERE


Toogoolawah to Coominya social ride (Brisbane Valley R.T.)

Come and enjoy a cycle  along  the Toogoolawah to Coominya  section on the Brisbane Valley RT  on Saturday 18 October 2014. This ride is organized by  Cycling Somerset Social Rides.

This ride starts at  Lion park Toogoolawah ( Southern entrance to the town) at  7am and will travel to Esk ( Morning tea at a local cafe and then onto Coominya (44km) total.

Riders of all ages are welcome and you only need average fitness for this ride. Ages from 20  to 70 plus have riden with us on this section of the BVRT.

Once we arraive at Coominya , transport has been arranged  to return drivers back to there cars at Toogoolawah.

For more information about this event click here

or contact mark    mlinnett@railtrails.org.au


High Country Rail Trail Koetong Bridge Opening

The large timber bridge at Koetong on the High Country Rail Trail in north east Victoria will be officially opened on Sunday 19th October.

After 18 months of work the local organisations that donated time and goods to this restoration would would be pleased to see rail trail supporters at the opening.

Full details of the opening can be found in the brochure that can be downloaded here. (download button at top).  Note the requirement to RSVP.

V42-512 Koetong Creek Bridge 1 2014-04 5131 for web

With the opening of this bridge, this section of the rail trail is now open from Boggy Creek bridge up to what was Victoria’s highest station at Shelley.  Refer to our trail description with map and photos here.