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Castlemaine to Maryborough Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Castlemaine to Maryborough Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Central Victoria, 124 km from Melbourne
Start/end: Castlemaine to Maryborough
Status: Closed
Length open: 0km
Surface: Coarse gravel
Terrain: Mostly flat through low hills, mix of forest and farmland (volcanic plain)
Best seasons: Autumn, Winter and Spring
Public transport: Train, Bus
Contact Region: Western Victoria
The corridor near Guildford with the rails recently removed. (Mick Evans 2020)
The corridor near Guildford with the rails recently removed. (Mick Evans 2020)
Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes
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Details

Features

  • The 55km trail can start at either Castlemaine or Maryborough and follow the now disused rail line, via the towns of Guildford, Newstead and Carisbrook.
  • A stand-out destination is the impressive Maryborough Railway Station once described by Mark Twain, the famous American writer, as ‘a railway station with a town attached ’.
  • From a tourism perspective a unique feature of this trail would be that a traveller could take a train from Melbourne and head either to Castlemaine or Maryborough, traverse the trail to the other end and take a train back to Melbourne.
  • Public transport: V/Line Train from Melbourne to Castlemaine (Bendigo line) or Maryborough (Mildura line) with bus services from Maryborough to Newstead, Guildford, Campbells Creek and Castlemaine and the reverse from Castlemaine.

Description

The rail corridor passes through an ancient volcanic plain landscape, crosses the Cairn Curran Reservoir and Moolort Plains, a very different environment to the goldfields landscapes closer to Castlemaine. A feature of the Plains is its wetlands and swamps, a habitat for a variety of wetland flora and birdlife. Several towns along the route are located on the Loddon River, which flows from the Great Dividing Range in the south to the Murray River in the north.

Castlemaine – Guildford (11km): This section of the rail trail passed through Castlemaine and Campbells Creek before reaching a more rural environment with low hills following the edge of an ancient volcanic flow and crossing the Loddon River at Guildford.

Guildford – Newstead (12km): The route continues through farmland and forested historic goldfields. Newstead is a small town along the Loddon River.

Newstead - Carisbrook (25km): The rail trail continues past cropping and grazing land and crosses the Cairn Curran reservoir and wetlands. The Moolort Plain is a flat ancient volcanic landscape, with low hills on the approach to Carisbrook, a town on the Loddon River.

Carisbrook – Maryborough (7km): This part of the trail passes through dry Box ironbark forest which formed part of the 19th Century goldfields in Central Victoria.

Background Information

  • Castlemaine Station is on the Melbourne to Bendigo line and was established in 1862.
  • Maryborough Station is on the Melbourne to Mildura line and terminus for V/Line service from Ballarat. It opened in 1874 but the current station building was erected in 1890 with 25 rooms and a clock tower, of red brick with stucco trimming (excerpt from Wikipedia)
  • The Maryborough – Castlemaine passenger service was withdrawn in July 1977, being replaced with a bus service. From that time, the track was then used only for freight until 2004 when the line was closed

Links

A brochure outlining this rail trail proposal can be downloaded here.

To advertise your rail trail support business on this page, please click here.

Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here: vic-west@railtrails.org.au.

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News

News

How do rail trails start?

(Posted: 27/01/21)

Friends groups inspire their community to get behind the planning, development and construction of Rail Trails. Here is a team of people who are passionately working to establish a rail trail between Castlemaine and Maryborough in Central Victoria.

More...