Victorian Trail Update
The Warburton Trail
The section of the Warburton Trail between Gardiner Street and Anderson Street is now open. A visit in February 2000 found the trail suitable for walkers and mountain bikes, but not yet up to the standard of other parts of the trail.
Walkers and mountain bikers may now like to start their walk or ride from Lilydale Station instead of the Maroondah Highway. From Lilydale Station, go through the park on the south-east side of the station. Once past the suburban train stabling sidings you will come to a level crossing over Gardiner Street. Here the little used Healsville line continues straight. The railtrail curves off the right immediately after the crossing. This section includes a small bridge which has been restored with handrails in the same style as other bridges on the trail.
At Anderson Street the trail comes to the boundary of Mt Lilydale College. A cutting has been filled in here. A bridge that once went over the trail is visible inside the college grounds – it is now almost at ground level. A detour is necessary here around the college. Follow the Nelson Road to the left downhill along the college boundary then turn right along a grassy area between the college boundary and the fences of adjoining houses. Then turn right again for a final steep climb up to the railway formation on the left. From here the trail can be followed again to Maroondah Highway and the start of the main part of the trail.
Bonnie Doon Bridge
This trail crosses the old Bonnie Doon Rail Bridge and continues for approximately 1 km on each side. Progress on this trail has not proceeded as fast as expected. On the Melbourne side, the former Bonnie Doon station is fenced off as part of a Caravan Park and is not currently accessible. The trail from the bridge is accessible only as far as Wilson Road.
As at February 2000, this railtrail is in its early stages of development. Approximately 2 to 3 km of the rail formation are currently accessible running through the town. The formation is clear but not well surfaced. Currently the trail is best suited for walking, but should also be usable by mountain bikes. The former Yea Station is now a tourist information centre. More information on this railtrail and the adjoining wetlands walk is available there.
This 200 m brick lined tunnel is located on the former line to Mansfield near Yea. It is possible to walk, cycle or drive through the tunnel. To reach the tunnel, take Limestone Road (on the right after leaving Yea, travelling towards Mansfield. After a couple of kilometers there is a signpost to the tunnel on Cheviot Road to the left. Following this road the railway formation can be seen on the right. Eventually the road turns to the right and climbs up onto the formation shortly before the tunnel.
After passing through the tunnel, the road turns off the formation, which can still be seen running along to the left. After passing through two gates, this road joins Native Dog Road which returns to the main highway. Please leave the gates as you found them. All the roads described are dirt or gravel. They should be accessible to all vehicles although a 4WD is recommended in wet conditions.
It is believed that the tunnel is on public land. If anyone has more information on this then please contact us.
New contacts for Railtrails Australia
Railtrails Australia has new phone and fax numbers, phone: (03) 9306 4846, fax (03) 9306 3848.
Opening of Bellarine Peninsular Railtrail
On Saturday 12 February 2000, the 16 km section of railtrail between Queenscliff and Drysdale was officially opened. This section runs parallel with the Bellarine Peninsula Tourist Railway. It connects up with the existing 11 km of trail from Drysdale to Moolap. Work is also progressing on the section of the trail from Moolap to Geelong.
The official opening of the trail was performed by the Hon. Sherryl Garbutt MP who is the Minister for Environment and Conservation. Jon Faine (3LO Morning Presenter) is the trail’s Patron and also spoke at the opening.
The opening was well attended and a special train from Queenscliff to Drysdale was run allowing walkers and cyclists to do shorter walks/rides. Goods trucks were attached to the train to carry bikes. Unfortunately rain set in soon after the start of the walk/ride and most people were rather wet by the time they reached Drysdale.
Plans are in place for revegetation, rest areas and improved signage. Signage is not yet complete so there may be a few spots where the trail is a little hard to follow and there are a few short on-road stretches, but otherwise the trail offers a wonderful 27+ km walk or ride on the Peninsular.
Murray to Mountains Opening
The Bright to Myrtleford section of the Murray to Mountains Railtrail was opened on Thursday 10 February.
Around 150 people attended the opening by Mr Peter Batchelor MP, Minister for Transport. The minister promised a further $425,000 for completion of the path from Bright and Wangaratta.
A full report appeared in The Age on Friday 11 February (note: this link is to a page on The Age web site which may be removed in the future.
Bairnsdale to Bruthen Annual Community Ride
The Annual Community Ride on the East Gippsland Railtrail is planned for Saturday 25 March. The 30 km ride starts at 9.30am at the Mitchell River Bridge, Bairnsdale. For details contact Bruce Bowden (W) 5152 1197 (Mobile) 0408 521 197 or Barbara Wade 5156 8573.