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Casterton to Branxholme Rail Trail - Trail Description



Casterton to Branxholme Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: South Western Victoria in the vicinity of Hamilton
Start/end: Casterton to Branxholme
Status: Possible
Length open: 0km
Surface: Coarse gravel
Terrain: Flat to slight incline
Best seasons: Autumn to Spring
Public transport: Bus
Contact Region: Western Victoria
Picturesque Wannon River bridge (Beryl Camillieri)
Picturesque Wannon River bridge (Beryl Camillieri)
Not yet open



• Glenelg Shire Council endorsed a feasibility study in June 2020, to build the Casterton to Branxholme Rail Trail.
• The trail when complete will be 54km in length.
• Initially, construction is likely to focus on the Casterton to Sandford section (4km) and Sandford to Merino section (20km).
• The trail will feature the Wannon River Bridge, the longest nineteenth-century Victorian railways timber bridge still in existence.


The proposed Casterton-Branxholme Rail Trail will link the townships and localities of Casterton, Sandford, Merino and Branxholme in Western Victoria.

The ambition is to connect the region’s unique landscape, cultural, natural and heritage features.

Access Points

  • To be confirmed.

Casterton to Sandford 4 km

The proposed Rail Trail within Casterton will link to the Heritage Railway Station precinct and provide links to the Kelpie Centre and current and future Casterton Trails. The trail will pass Casterton Sale Yards and Racecourse. The trail will pass Victoria’s oldest and longest surviving timber railway bridge.

Sandford to Merino 20 km

An historic English oak tree will contribute significantly to the Rail Trail landscape as it sits in front of the town’s old hall. The trail will pass through the Henty area providing a link to historic buildings and structures. Merino is an attractive Victorian country town.

Merino to Branxholme 30 km

Branxholme has heritage rail features including a water tower and railway reservoir. The route will be mostly rural landscape and production forests.

Background Information

The Casterton-Branxholme railway was closed in 1977.

The Wannon River Railway Bridge is situated a few kilometres east of Casterton and built in 1884. This hidden gem is 136 years old and has withstood floods in 1893, 1906, 1946 and 2016.

The 292 metre bridge is the longest surviving example of a Victorian Railways 15 feet (4.57 metre) timber-beam bridge still retaining its all-timber integrity. It is the longest nineteenth-century Victorian railways timber bridge still in existence. Dating from 1884, it also rates highly among the oldest surviving Victorian Railways timber bridges, and has unusual early structural features, particularly the very rare tall vertical-four-pile piers on the main river-channel section.

The timber piers include very rare tall vertical-four-pile structures at the main river channel, and the bridge deck sweeps in a grand curve.


For further information see the Glenelg Shire media release

August 2020

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