Brisbane Valley Rail Trail – Coominya Section Opened

Coominya Section Opening

On Saturday 15 November, Coominya celebrated its Christmas Carnival and became the next community in the Brisbane Valley to become the proud custodians of a section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.

Click Here for a description, map and photos of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.

Over 500 people joined in the day’s celebrations as Wayne Wendt, MP and Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehman officiated the opening of a further 12km of trail, which also signalled the start of the Coominya Christmas Carnival.

The planting of the first koala food tree on the rail corridor from 100 koala food seedlings given to the community on the day by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning also took place.

Rail Trail Ambassadors

In October Blackbutt celebrated 120 years as a Township and also hosted the official launch of the Ambassadors of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.

Established to encourage recreational usage of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, the Ambassadors are respected members of the local community who will provide on the ground support to ensure the sustainable development and usage of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.

The first section of the BVRT to have its own Ambassadors is the Moore to Blackbutt section. Ambassadors Reg McCallum, Bob and Linda Howe, Kate Dohle, Robyn Gray, Geoff Maundsley and Kerry Mercer will be actively promoting the historical, cultural and future significance of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Moore – Blackbutt).

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Update Ballarat to Skipton Rail Trail October 2008

On the 29th October the newly resurfaced rail trail was opened. The complete distance of 54km has been widened and resurfaced.

Grants from the State Government, Federal Government and the 3 local shires involved, amounting to $680,000 enabled the upgrade of the Ballarat to Skipton trail. The surface is now fine, compact, granitic sand and extends from the ring road to Skipton. There is also new signage and improved road crossings. The three mayors from the City of Ballarat, Golden Plains and Corangamite Shires came together to celebrate this achievement.

By June 2009 the trail will continue a further 2km onto Lake Wendouree.

For more information on the trail including a map, see our trail description.

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No VLine Train Services To North East Victoria

From Sunday 9th November VLine trains to Wangaratta and Wodonga will be replaced by buses for approximately 18 months. During this time the broad gauge track between Seymour and Wodonga will be converted to standard gauge providing two standard gauge tracks.

Trains will continue to operate from Melbourne to Seymour but people wishing to travel on to Wangaratta and Wodonga will need to use a new bus service. According to VLine, bikes will not be permitted on the buses, affecting those wishing to use public transport to ride the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail and the High Country Rail Trail.

According to VLine the existing trains used on the broad gauge, with their limited bike carrying capacity, will be converted to run on standard gauge track in the future.

According to the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, the buses will be operated by Wangaratta Coachlines and they have asked that anyone wanting to travel with their bike contact them directly and they will accommodate where possible. Their phone number is (03) 5722 1843.

The existing standard gauge passenger service between Melbourne and Sydney will continue to run as normal. These trains stop at Wangaratta and Albury but apparently have limited space for bikes.

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Rail Trails Australia 2009 Calendar Available

Railtrails Australia is pleased to announce its first calendar filled with exceptional photographs of rail trails from around Australia.

Full details available Here.

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Murrumbidgee Valley Rail Trail Feasibility Study To Get Underway

Historic rail and road bridges over the Murrumbidgee River at Gundagai. Photo credit: Leon Patterson

Expressions of interest are being sought for consultants to undertake a study into this proposed rail trail in southern NSW. It will use the NSW railway corridor between Coolac and Tumblong, through Gundagai (approx 30 km) on the Cootamundra to Tumut rail corridor.

For more information on the trail including a map, see our trail description.

The Riverina Regional Development Board has approved dollar for dollar funding along with the Gundagai Shire Council to undertake the study. Expressions of Interest close on 31 October 2008.

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Railtrails Australia Newsletter Archive

There are now over 100 rail trails in Australia, but there were only a handful in 1994 when the Victorian Government launched its rail trails program. In the same year, Railtrails Australia (then Australian Rails to Trails) published our first newsletter.

The complete newsletter archive is now available on disk. Through its pages you can follow the development of Australia’s rail trail network over the last 14 years. The archive is also fully searchable allowing you to quickly locate items of interest.

Click here for more information.

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Progress on Sandy Creek Bridge, High Country Rail Trail (Vic)

Looking forward to when the gap can be bridged. (2005). Photo credit: Robert & Jana W., members of Vic HPV

Wodonga Council has called for contractors to tender for the design and construction of a pedestrian-cycle path bridge over the Sandy Creek inlet, near Tallangatta.

Construction of the 600m long bridge will remove a 5km diversion on the busy Murray Valley Highway. Along with a proposed surface upgrade it will further improve the trail experience and make the trail accessible to all.

It is expected to be three years before it will be open. There is a $l.3million commitment from the Victorian Government towards the project. The Wodonga Council has also committed $250,000, very significant for a council, and the Towong and Indigo Shire councils have also committed funding to the project. It is hoped that Federal funding will be forthcoming when the construction cost is determined.

The original bridge girders were removed in 1987 and some still sit in the Bandiana rail yard. However the specification does not require there use or even that of the concrete piers.

Further details will be in our next newsletter.

For more information on the trail including a map, see our trail description.

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Great Southern Rail Trail (Vic) Bridge Opening Celebrations

The new and the old. Photo credit: David Levin

A reminder that the new 242 metre pedestrian bridge over the Tarwin River near Meeniyan will be officially opened on Friday 13th June at 10:30am

This bridge removes one of the two diversions from the rail trail onto the busy South Gippsland Highway greatly improving user safety and enjoyment.

It promises to be an exciting family day and weekend involving the whole community. For a full programme of events check this website

For more information on the trail including a map, see our trail description.

See bridge photos including construction here (external site)

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On-line Survey for Proposed Yarra Valley Rail Trail (Vic)

Yering station area

As part of a Masters in Business (Tourism and Event Management) course at Victoria University an online survey is being conducted on the proposed Yarra Valley Rail Trail from Lilydale to Yarra Glen and possibly Healesville.

For more information on the proposed trail including a map, see our trail description.

Click Here to take survey

NOTE: the survey finishes at 12pm Sunday 1st June.

Railtrails Australia will a copy of the survey results once the deadline has passed. The only personal information required is your postcode.

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Bass Coast Rail Trail (Vic) Funding Announced

The Victorian Government has announced funding of $150,000 to upgrade the surface of the Bass Coast Rail Trail.

Refer media release belwo for more details.

For more information on the trail including a map, see our trail description.

MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE MINISTER FOR REGIONAL AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

DATE: Thursday, May 22, 2008

$150,000 TO UPGRADE BASS COAST RAIL TRAIL

The Bass Coast Rail Trail will receive a major upgrade thanks to a $154,634 Brumby Government grant, announced today.

Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan said the grant is another example of the Brumby Government taking action to boost tourism.

“The 15-kilometre trail from Anderson to Wonthaggi is one of Victoria’s most popular coastal rail trails, attracting more than 3500 visitors each month and covering farmland, historic coal mining reserves and rugged coastline,” Ms Allan said.

“This Brumby Government grant will enable the entire trail to be resurfaced with smooth gravel, improving access for all visitors.

“The trail is a popular destination for cycling, horse riding, mountain biking and walking, improving the trail will promote health and fitness among the community by encouraging more people to exercise.

“The upgrade will also boost tourism in the region with an increase in the number of organised walking and cycling groups expected.”

Once the project is complete, Bass Coast Shire Council will launch a marketing campaign featuring new signage, logos and brochures with support from the Friends of the Bass Coast Rail Trail.

Ms Allan said the $154,634 Bass Coast Rail Trail Development project would be provided to the council through the Brumby Government’s Small Towns Development Fund.

“So far, the fund has provided $36.6 million toward 398 community and social infrastructure projects worth $78 million right across provincial Victoria,” Ms Allan said.

“The Brumby Government provided an additional $25 million to the Small Towns Development Fund and extended it for five years through Moving Forward, the Victorian Government’s $502 million plan to make provincial Victoria the best place to live, work, invest and raise a family.”

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