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Derwent Valley Rail Trail - Trail Description



Derwent Valley Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Derwent Valley, north east of Hobart.
Start/end: Westerway to National Park
Status: Possible
Length open: 0km
Contact Region: Southern Tasmania
Line next to road and river. Emma Pharo 2015
Line next to road and river. Emma Pharo 2015
Not yet open



This proposed 7km rail trail will traverse the scenic Derwent Valley from the hamlet of Westerway to the gateway of and Mt Field National Park


This proposed rail trail will begin at Westerway, a small town with a primary school, corner shop and several tourist businesses including accommodation and cafes. A successful berry farm has a farmgate shop during summer hours.

The rail trail follows the beautiful Tyenna River and the road, as they wind through the corridor into the World Heritage Area. There are only a couple of road crossings at the National Park end of the trail and for the most part the trail is an uncomplicated and highly accessible path through eucalypt and casurina forests.

At present, the track and sleepers are still in position. This section of the corridor has not been used for up to 20 years, with commercial operations ceasing once the need to cart timber from the valley wound back and transferred to trucks. This section of track has not had any significant maintenance for approximately 40 years.

Background Information

The branch line up the Derwent Valley reached National Park in 1916 and reached further into the valley at Florentine in 1936.

The line was closed back to New Norfolk in 1995.  The Derwent Valley Railway organisation, based in New Norfolk, used the line further east to Boyer until 2005.

From 2009 Railtrack Riders, based in Maydena, began operating pedal powered rail vehicles in sections between National Park and Florentine

The Derwent Valley Railway organisation is understood to want to reopen the line from Boyer 40km to National Park.

Some community groups believe this entire length is not viable and want to turn the western end into a rail trail which would connect with the Railtrack Riders and a future Derwent Valley Railway.  Rail Trails Australia supports this view and notes examples, particularly in Victoria, where rail trails and heritage railways coexist to the beneift of both.  For examples refer to the Bellarine Rail Trail and the proposed extension of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail to Yarra Glen.


Railtrack Riders in Maydena.

Derwent Valley Railway in New Norfolk

Bicycle Network's campaign information for the rail trail

August 2015

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Derwent Valley Rail Trail Survey

(Posted: 13/03/16)

Participate in the UTAS survey to assist this proposed rail trail near Hobart.