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Murrumbidgee Valley Rail Trail - Trail Description



Murrumbidgee Valley Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Cootamundra, Gundagai, and Tumut in south west NSW
Start/end: Cootamundra to Batlow
Status: Possible
Length open: 0km
Terrain: scenic and hilly
Best seasons: Spring to Autumn
Public transport: Train
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Country NSW & ACT
Gundagai Station (2007)
Gundagai Station (2007)
Not yet open



This trail is not open

This proposed rail trail would be 65km in length, centred on the town of Gundagai.

This rail trail could also tie in with the proposed Riverina Highlands Rail Trail. Stage 1 of this trail, Tumbarumba to Rosewood, is set to open on 3 April 2020. Tumbarumba is located not far from Batlow. 

The rail trail is being proposed by the Gundagai Bicycle Users Group, GundaBUG, and the Cootamunda Gundagai Regional Council appears supportive of the idea in principle.

The railway from Cootamundra to Tumut was completed in 1903 and extended to Batlow in 1923. Operation ceased in 1984 and despite several studies to reopen the line to service the Visy mill at Gilmore, it is still unused.


The Tumut to Batlow section would make a great railtrail, as it climbs 500m up to Batlow to an elevation of 780m above sea level.  This section has extensive cuttings, embankments and superb rural views.

Background Information

The Tumut and Kunama railway lines are disused railway lines in the south of NSW. The Tumut line was a 104 km long branch of the Main South Line, branching southwards from Cootamundra and heading to the town of Tumut. The line served the towns of Tumut and Gundagai, where the line crosses the Murrumbidgee River with a large iron girder bridge and a historic wooden viaduct, now in disrepair. Villages on the line included  Brawlin, Muttama, Coolac, and Tumbalong.

The Kunama railway line was a small 35 km branch of the Tumut line, branching at Gilmore, 5 km southwest of Tumut, passing through the town of Batlow before ending in Kunama. The branch connection faced towards Tumut.

The Tumut line opened as far as Gundagai, using the contractor's equipment, on 10 November, 1885. The line was finally extended to Tumut on 12 October 1903, and the branch to Batlow opened in 1922, and was extended to Kunama shortly after. The steep Kunama line was mainly used for fruit haulage from the orchards surrounding Batlow, until services were suspended in 1983. The line beyond Batlow is formally closed and the line has been lifted.

The Tumut line was suspended after flooding in 1984, and part of the alignment was taken over by Hume Highway upgrading works. 

The substantial Gundagai railway station was restored in the 1990s, and is the longest timber railway station in New South Wales.


February 2020

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