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Dorrigo to Glenreagh - Trail Description

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Trail

Dorrigo to Glenreagh

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Northern NSW
Start/end: Dorrigo to Glenreagh
Status: Closed
Length open: 0km
Surface: Compacted earth
Terrain: Rugged
Best seasons: Summer
Features: wineries
Contact Region: Country NSW & ACT
Not yet open
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Details

Features

This old railway corridor is 69 km long, and is a spur line that runs through remote bushland between Dorrigo and Glenreagh, which is on the North Coast  Railway Line. The line features 2 tunnels and many bridges. It is all uphill from Glenreagh to Dorrigo, and was a real challenge for the steam engine drivers at the time. This line promises spectacular vistas as you gain altitude towards the Dorrigo Plateau.

The Dorrigo station and yard are currently being used to store the large rolling stock collection owned by the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum. The station has not yet been restored. The line heading out of Dorrigo is overgrown with blackberries, shrubs and some small trees. An impressive viaduct bridge remains approximately 1 km out of Dorrigo and all of the railway crossing signposting remains on the road as it criss-crosses the line.

The station at Glenreagh is overgrown, and the buildings are in poor condition. The water tank and signal frame are still present, along with some decaying rolling stock in the yard.

Background Information

The Dorrigo branch lies on the north coast of NSW. It branches off the North Coast Line at Glenreagh, and climbs up to the Dorrigo Plateau.
Due to the steep terrain, it was decided to build a railway to allow products to be brought to nearby port towns. Several routes were surveyed, with the route from Glenreagh eventually chosen. The line climbs 664m over a length of 69km.
The steep terrain and high rainfall made construction and maintenance of this line quite difficult. Due to the tight curves, a check rail was employed in numerous places. Two tunnels and numerous bridges were required.
Apart from the end points of Dorrigo and Glenreagh, the station on this line were very small, often consisting of a short platform with a small shelter. The major traffic on this line was timber.
For much of its lifetime, the line was not profitable and when several washaways occurred in 1972, it was decided to suspend services rather than repair the damage.
Due to the line's scenic value, two preservation groups have taken over the line. The Glenreagh Mountain Railway have taken over the lower section, from Glenreagh to Ulong. They were restoring the infrastructure and resleepering the line with the aim of introducing tourist services using rail trikes and their steam locomotive, 1919.
The upper half of the line, from Ulong to Dorrigo is being managed by the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum. This group is primarily a museum not open to the public, and they originally had plans to run services on the top half of the line.

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Contact Us About This Trail

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

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