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Murrumbidgee Valley Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

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: Autumn to early Summer
Public transport: Train
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Country NSW & ACT
Gundagai Station (2007)
Gundagai Station (2007)
Not yet open
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Details

Features

This trail is not open

This proposed rail trail would be 65km in length, centred on the town of Gundagai. Two main sections are proposed for development: Tumut to Batlow, and Coolac to Tumblong. Both offer good opportunities for family-friendly rail trail and rural experiences when constructed. 

This rail trail development could also tie in with the Riverina Highlands Rail Trail. Stage 1 of this trail, Tumbarumba to Rosewood, opened on 3 April 2020. Tumbarumba is located 40km by road from Batlow. 

Notable features of the trail include the well-preserved Gundagai railway station precinct, and the historic heritage-listed railway bridge across the Murrumbidgee flood plain. At the Batlow end, there are many apple and stonefruit orchards.  

Description

The Tumut to Batlow section would make a great rail trail, as it climbs 470m up to Batlow to an elevation of 780m above sea level.  This section has extensive cuttings, embankments and superb rural views.

The 32km section from Coolac to Tumblong crosses the Hume Highway near Coolac, running just to the east of the highway from that point. It passes through undulating farmland and crosses the Murrumbidgee flood plain at Gundagai. The railway line in this area was on a 800m long timber trestle bridge, which is heritage-listed but now in disrepair.  There is a short section of cycle pathway in the Gundagai township.  

A detailed feasibility study for a 5.5km section of rail trail linking north and south Gundagai was completed in March 2018 for the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council.  

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 Tumblong.

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.

Links

For more details about the proposed Batlow-Tumut section, see Batlow to Tumut trail info

 

April 2020

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Contact Us About This Trail

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

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