General Flood Warnings (VIC, QLD and anywhere else that’s had rain!)

Victoria

Due to extensive flood and water damage from the Kiewa River the High Country Rail Trail is closed to cyclists and walkers from Whytes Road Bandiana, to Finn Creek. Access to the Rail Trail is from Pollards Road Bonegilla.

Click here for the High Country Rail Trail description.

Queensland

Sections of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail are CLOSED due to the recent rain and extremely wet trail conditions.

Anyone wishing to hike, bike or ride the BVRT over the holidays should check with the local visitor information centres before leaving home – you might need to bring more than your brollie!

During the Christmas – New Year break, the Visitor Information Centres in the Brisbane Valley and South Burnett will have the latest information on weather conditions and what sections of the trail will be open.

It is likely that any section that has a creek crossing will be closed for some time: including Lockyer Creek (south of Coominya), Fairney View (south of Fernvale), Gallinani Creek (north of Esk) and Linville to Benarkin.

  • Blackbutt Visitor Information Centre 07 4163 0633

    Hart Street, Blackbutt

  • Esk Visitor Information Centre 07 5424 2923

    82 Ipswich Street, Esk

  • Futures and Visitor Information Centre 07 5427 0200

    1483 Brisbane Valley Highway, Fernvale

  • Ipswich Visitor Information Centre 07 3281 0555

    14 Queen Victoria Parade, Ipswich

  • South Burnett Energy and Visitor Information Centre 07 4171 6871

    Corner Drayton and Henry Street, Nanango

Click here for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail description.

General

Due to the recent heavy rain nation-wide and with more to come, we recommend caution on all rail trails in the coming days and weeks. Consult local sources for up to date information on trail conditions and be on the lookout for trail damage created by flood waters, fallen trees, etc. Please report such damage to the responsible authorities, usually the local council in the first instance. We also welcome updates on trail conditions especially closures for significant lengths of time. Contact admin at railtrails.org.au.

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Warburton Rail Trail Bridge – Final Stages of Construction (VIC)

Warburton Trail bridge centre Span under construction in a nearby truck-stop. Photo credit: Rick Puts

In a borrowed truck-stop beside a rural highway, propped up on stands, sits the centre span of the new bridge deck, patiently awaiting installation. A mobile electronic sign says the truck-stop will be closed until the 8th of December, however we’ve been reliably informed the bridge will be installed in three stages with the centre span installed in “mid December”, following the placement of the northern span in “early December”. The southern span won’t make it in place until early in the new year. At this stage we can only hope the bridge will be open for use before the end of the school holidays.

If you wish to view the installation of the bridge spans and perhaps take some snaps, feel free but please keep clear of the construction site. The northern and southern spans could be installed at any time of the week but the centre span is most likely to be installed during a weekend with a closure of the highway.

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Railtrails Australia 2011 Calendar Now In Stock!

The Railtrails Australia 2011 Calendar is now available.

The 2011 calendar has a full page A4 colour photograph for every month and features holiday dates to make planning your rail trail trips as easy as possible.

The calendar will also make a great Christmas gift for family or friends and inspire them to get out and enjoy our wonderful rail trails.

Click here to place your order.

All proceeds from the calendar assist our work promoting the development and use of rail trails throughtout Australia.

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Funding Offer for Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail (QLD)

Tablelands Regional Council Mayor Tom Gilmore, Transport Minister Rachel Nolan and Member for Cook Jason O’Brien showing support for the rail trail from Mareeba to Atherton. Picture: Kylie Reghenzani (Tablelands Advertiser)

The Queensland state Government has offered the Tablelands Regional Council $4 million over 10 years to develop a rail trail from Mareeba to Atherton. Tablelands Regional Council are still considering the offer because, according to mayor Cr Tom Gilmore, more consultation is needed.

State Transport Minister Rachel Nolan travelled to the Tableland for the announcement and said community support for the Rail Trail was strong. A Rail Trails Advisory Committee had been set up by the Council and would take approximately 12 months to perform preparation and planning of the project.

Member for Cook Jason O’Brien was also supporting of the project saying “This area would turn into a wonderful 34km path-way for walkers and cyclists which would be an attraction for locals and tourists alike,”

Click here for the Atherton Rail Trail Description.

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Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail Community Meetings (VIC)

Community forums have been arranged so the public can be informed on what is happening on the Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail in regard to construction, events, usage, etc. This will be an opportunity to discuss any issues that may be of concern to residents.

Forums will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday 18 November at 6.30pm Alexandra Shire Hall, Grant Street, Alexandra (Yes, this one’s been and gone. We apologise for the late notice.)
  • Tuesday 23 November at 6pm Yea Council Chamber, The Semi Circle, Yea
  • Thursday 25 November at 6.30pm Seymour Customer Service Centre, 28 High Street, Seymour
  • Wednesday 8 December at 6pm Bonnie Doon Community Centre, Arnot Street, Bonnie Doon

We hope to see you there!

Click here for a description and map of this rail trail.

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O’Keefe Rail Trail funding bears fruit (VIC)

O’Keefe RT upgrade.

Following up from the announcement of funding by Regional Development Victoria and City of Greater Bendigo in June 2010 for the extension and upgrade of the O’Keefe Rail Trail, the installation of 6 bridges is expected to begin in the first week of November.

The initial work will be preparation for, and the pouring the abutment foundations. Once these have cured the contractor Open Space Australia will install the prefabricated bridges. Completion is due before Christmas 2010.

The Friends of Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail Inc. will be making a short presentation to the Heathcote community as part of the Council’s Small Townships Information meeting. It will be held on 15 Nov at 7:30pm at the RSL Hall in Heathcote. This will cover the trail’s extension, and what that is likely to entail at Heathcote for Heathcote.

Pyalong Pile/Trestle Bridges

The Friends of Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail Inc. have been lobbying politicians and the DSE to draw some attention to the Pyalong Pile/Trestle Bridges. It is now official that a grant of approximately $65K has been approved by the Minister of Environment & Climate Change, through DSE to have a full engineering assessment carried out on both of these Pile/Trestle Bridges. These bridges were originally part of the Heathcote Junction to Bendigo railway line, which the Friends have had an eye on for their Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail vision. The contract has now been awarded to the Sterling Group Consultants and work will commence very soon.

Click here for our trail description for the O’Keefe Rail Trail.

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Curdies Trestle Bridge Official Opening (VIC)

Riders enjoying the newly restored bridge. Matthew Graham

In July this year the Curdies Trestle Bridge restoration was completed much to the satisfaction of the volunteers who toiled away at the timber decks and rails. Next month their hard work will be recognised with the official opening of the Curdies Trestle Bridge. (Please note the date on page 3 of the Spring Edition of Rail Trail Connections magazine is incorrect.)

At 12 Noon on November 19 the official opening will be held at the northern end of the bridge, about 4 or 5 Kms from Timboon, that’s the limestone quarry end, for those without a compass! Feel free to walk, cycle or ride the Crater to Coast Rail Trail to the event, to help minimise vehicular traffic. Feel free to use the courtesy bus which has been organised to take people to the opening every half hour from the whiskey distillery area.

There will be many activities on the day. As the rail trail passes through areas with significant flora and fauna some activities will focus on promoting healthy rivers and biodiversity, assisted by some of the local primary school students and water authorities.

There will also be a light rubber-wheeled train giving free rides for the kids, a photographic history display as well as commemorative merchandise and a sausage sizzle and drinks as a fund-raising effort between Lions and Relay for Life.

So come on down and help celebrate this momentous occasion on Friday 19 November, at midday!

Afterwards there will be an informal gathering at the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery at 6.30 pm that evening and if you would like to join you are more than welcome. However you need to make a booking by the 5th November – either by phone on (03) 5598 3555 or email at info @ timboondistillery.com

Click here for the Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail Description.

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Linville Station Turns 100! (QLD)

Linville Station Building. Photo credit: Alexander McCooke

The Linville Railway turns 100 on the Sunday the 21 November. The Ambassadors of the Brisbane Valley Railtrail, The Pioneer Charity and Sporting Club and Brisbane Valley Heritage Trails are celebrating the Centenary with an Open Day, Market Stalls and a Horse Ride.

The Ambassadors Ride will leave Blackbutt Showgrounds at 6.am. Visiting Riders are invited to follow the Ambassadors along the trail, which will be open for the Day. Breakfast will be served on the trail at McNamara’s Tent School. The Ride should arrive at Linville at 9.00am The Ambassadors will return to Blackbutt at 1.30pm. The Trail has some steep descents and ascents and an adult should accompany children.

The Celebration will begin at the Linville Railway at 9.00am there will be some light entrainment, memorabilia, market stalls, morning teas & BBQ lunch. Official Celebrations begin at 10.00am. For more information on the Ride Contact Robyn on (07) 5424 8138 or Geoff on 0419 757 250, about the open day contact Kate on (07) 5424 7276.

Click here for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail description and map.

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Daylesford to Woodend Trail is another step closer (VIC)

Domino Trail between Trentham and Lyonville. Photo credit: Andy Robertson

A Trentham based group continues to work closely with those individuals and organisations on whom they will depend for leadership and assistance to develop the Daylesford to Woodend Rail Trail.

Officers from Hepburn Shire Council recently advised that the Council expects to complete its Walking and Cycling Strategy Project Brief/Tender Documents by early November, with the successful tendering consultant appointed by the end of November.

The Council anticipates the Walking and Cycling Strategy Report will be completed around February 2011.

The group look forward to discussions with the consultant to present their case for the rail trail and appreciate the importance of the Strategy Report in the Council determining its role as a prospective rail trail stakeholder including major funding applications to State and/or Federal governments.

They also look forward to ongoing discussions with representatives from Macedon Ranges Shire Council, VicTrack/Department of Transport, Daylesford Spa Country Railway, Bicycle Victoria and Railtrails Australia.

The Trentham Residents and Traders Association (TRATA ) recently outlayed thousands of dollars on the mechanical clearing and spraying of broom, gorse and blackberry on sections of the Domino Trail as part of its VicTrack lease maintenance responsibility. It has also updated signs and maps to assist users of the trail.

The Trentham to Bullarto rail corridor including the Domino Trail, currently almost all leased by TRATA, is likely to be the first stage of a rail trail development.

Please feel free to offer comment or advice on our forums as they progress with this challenging and exciting project.

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Railtrails Australia 2010 AGM

Railtrails Australia will be holding the 2010 Annual General Meeting at the usual location, Carlton North Railway Station Neighbourhood House (Melway 29 H10) Solly Ave. Carlton North on Friday November 12 at 6:30 PM.

This is a great venue as it is situated on the popular Inner Circle Rail Trail between Royal Pde. and Lygon St. in Carlton North so you can catch a tram or bus or even walk or cycle from Royal Park Train Station.

At the AGM, elections will take place for all Railtrails Australia Committee positions. Nominees and their proposers and seconders must be financial members of Railtrails Australia (at both the time of nominations and the time of the AGM) in order to participate in the election.

We would welcome new committee members or people just wanting to represent other states.

Please let us know if you can make it so we know numbers for catering. Click here for our contact details. We hope to see you there!

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