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Box Vale Tramway Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Box Vale Tramway Trail

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Type: Tramway trail
Location: Near Mittagong, Southern Highlands, South of Sydney
Start/end: Mittagong to Box Vale Incline
Status: Open
Length open: 4.5km
Surface: Compacted earth
Terrain: Flat to slight incline
Public transport: Train
Contact Region: Country NSW & ACT
Approaching the tunnel (Feb 2018)
Approaching the tunnel (Feb 2018)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes
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Details

Features

Visit this former railway line, which was used to transport coal from the Natti Region to the main southern line at Mittagong.

Walking the trail will take around 3 hours for the return trip. The trail has good signposts but is quite rough in places. 

Description

Travelling from the north (Sydney) by road, turn left off the F6 Hume Freeway at Mittagong (in the Southern Highlands, 111 km south of Sydney), drive through the township of Mittagong, bear right along the old Hume Highway in the middle of the township, and follow it until it crosses the Hume Freeway at Welby. Turn right almost immediately onto Boxvale Road. After 100 metres, bear left at a small roadway entrance marked Box Vale Walking Track. You will now enter a well-defined car parking area at the trail head in Mt Alexander Reserve.

Travelling from the south, turn off the F6 Hume Freeway at the Mittagong sign.  This will take you onto the old Hume Highway at Welby.   Directly opposite this intersection, proceed along Boxvale Road. After 100 metres, bear left at a small roadway entrance marked Box Vale Walking Track. You will now enter a well-defined car parking area at the trail head in Mt Alexander Reserve.

The Trail commences downhill at a location interpretive sign. Take your own water on this journey. There are no water taps or toilet facilities along the Trail. Hiking boots are recommended. 

Located in the NSW State Forest, the Box Vale track was a narrow gauge tramway created to service a coal mine in Box Vale Creek. The tramway and its bridges are long gone but the cuttings, embankments and an 84m-long tunnel remain. The trail is located in the scenic Nattai River Valley and features cuttings, a tunnel, and passes an old dam.

Much of these original railway formations have been overrun by Mother Nature but it remains a good 4.5km one-way walk. The track was constructed for and is best suited for walking. At the end of the track are some picnic tables and a superb lookout over the Nattai River. Return is via the same path. Suitable all seasons but best in spring.

Background Information

The line, of standard gauge, was built in 1888 to carry coal mined in Nattai Gorge for seven km to the main southern Line at Mittagong. The line passes through several cuttings and a tunnel 84 metres in length. It ends at the "incline", by which coal was brought up from the gorge. The Colliery probably had its heyday in 1888, when 100 tons of coal per week were shipped to Melbourne during a coal strike. The Colliery was closed in 1896 and the tramway (railway) was abandoned. The last part of the line was opened as a walking track in 1996. Design and finance were by Nowra Lands Office. The construction was done by wards of the State from Toombong School, the Mount Alexandra Committee and people employed under the Community Employment Programme.

Links

October 2020

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Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here: nsw@railtrails.org.au.

Photos

Comments

Comments

2 comments

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05 October , 2020 by wow01

We walked this trail yesterday. It is well-signposted, and makes an enjoyable walk. The tunnel is near the end of the trail. Nattai Gorge lookout is 600m further on from the "Ïncline", and has picnic tables.

11 February , 2015 by cascho

I was on this trail this morning (Wednesday 11th 2015) – firstly it is walking trail for hikers. You can mountain bike it – but the first section to actually get to the tramway is not suited to anyone who isn’t an excellent mountain bike rider with a lot of experience. The trail is actually one of the most interesting rail trails I have been on, because of the cuttings and tunnel you pass through – so far none of the other trails I have done come close to depth of the cuttings and the tunnel. The view at the end is reasonable, but the trail is almost over grown in parts and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the overgrown trail from the dirt roads where they cross. If you go early morning before anyone else, watch out for spider webs.

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