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Riverina Highlands Rail Trails - Trail Description

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Trail

Riverina Highlands Rail Trails

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Wagga Wagga, Southern NSW, 420km from Sydney. Stage 1: Tumbarumba to Rosewood is now open.
Start/end: Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba
Status: Open
Length open: 21km
Surface: Sealed
Terrain: Flat to slight incline
Best seasons: Spring, summer and autumn
Public transport: Coach
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Country NSW & ACT
The Mannus Creek bridge is the largest on the rail trail (Snowy Valleys Council 2020)
The Mannus Creek bridge is the largest on the rail trail (Snowy Valleys Council 2020)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for wheelchairs Suitable for prams Suitable for scooters in line skates
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Details

Features

The rail trail between Tumbarumba and Rosewood is now open, a distance of 21km. 

  • The trail is fully sealed 
  • Family-friendly trail suitable for all types of bicycles, scooters, mobility scooters and prams
  • The trail passes through beautiful sub-alpine countryside and farmland
  • There are three major road crossings: Wagga Road (near SawPit Creek, and at Langlands Street in Tumbarumba township), and Jingellic Road (near Hyne Timber Mill) 
  • Interpretive signs explain some of the history of the rail line and the region
  • This is NSW's first rail trail on an ex-Government rail corridor. 

Tumbarumba provides all the facilities of a regional NSW town, including accommodation, cafes, supermarkets, pubs, etc. 

Rosewood has a general store and Gone Barny - a cafe, garden centre, gift shop and Post Office. 

Description

Trail Access 

In Tumbarumba, the rail trail starts at historic Wolter Cottages, Albury Street (Wagga Road); but the start point for many will be in nearby Figures Street. Both starting points are a short distance from the main street of the town along a multi-purpose path. 

Things to see and do

There are a number of local attractions that are adjacent to or nearby this rail trail. 

  • Tumbarumba Visitor Information Centre and Museum
  • There are several cellar doors in the Tumbarumba area
  • The historic Hume and Hovell Track can be accessed using Tumbarumba as a base
  • Pioneer Women's Hut Museum and Boggy Creek Show (both not yet directly accessible from the trail, but hopefully in future)

It is anticipated more attractions will become available now that the trail is open. 

For more details on Tumbarumba tourism, please click on this link:  Tumbarumba info.

A comprehensive locally-written guide to the Tumbarumba to Rosewood trail is available on this link:  A guide to riding the Tumbarumba rail trail

Access to Tumbarumba is mainly by car. There is also a regular coach service linking Tumbarumba to Cootamundra and Wagga Wagga.  

Future Developments

The Riverina Highlands Rail Trails will develop in four stages to its full lenght of 129km, the order which is not finalised yet.

  • Tumbarumba to Rosewood (21km) - Stage 1
  • Wagga Wagga to Ladysmith (19km)
  • Ladysmith to Tarcutta (33km)
  • Rosewood to Tarcutta (56km)

Background Information

Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba

This scenic railway branched from the Main South Line at Wagga Wagga, and passes through Tarcutta to the township of Tumbarumba, rising to 800m above sea level. It opened in stages from 1917 to 1921.  Operation beyond Ladysmith ceased in 1974 after significant flooding and all operations ceased in 1987.

Being NSW, services are suspended; most of the line is not officially closed (which requires an Act of Parliament) but 45 years on little infrastructure remains.  The line has been cut by construction of a RAAF base at Forest Hill, near Wagga Wagga, and the Hume Freeway at Tarcutta.  In addition significant sections of track and other infrastructure have been illegally removed.

The only stations remaining on the line are at Ladysmith (which is maintained by the Tumba Rail historical group) and Borambola.

We believe that experience in other states and overseas has shown that the best way to protect the integrity of a disused rail corridor is to once again have it valued by the community, and rail trails are a wonderful way of doing this.

Rail Trail Development History

The Riverina Highlands Rail Trails Steering Committee was formed in 2004 under the Riverina Regional Development Board to promote the development of two rail trails. In June 2006 the Board adopted the recommendations of the feasibility study to construct the rail trails.

Extensive consultation with local communities saw concerns from some but generally great support for the proposals.  All the four Shire Councils involved also expressed support along with the NSW Lands and Transport Ministry.

Development looked close to starting in 2009 with $220,000 of federal government funding but legislation to close the line did not get passed.

in 2012, the Riverina Higlands Rail Trail group was formed to continue the process of getting this rail trail established.

Given the reservations about constructing rail trails in NSW, Rail Trails Australia suggested the establishment of one or two shorter "pilot" rail trails.  These could verify the benefits of a rail trail on a long disused government branch line, something all the other states in Australia and many other countries take for granted.

The Tumbarumba to Rosewood sub--committee was formed in 2013 following significant community support which led to the support of the then Tumbarumba Shire Council.

This resulted in support from the new state government and finally in June 2017 the Tumbarumba to Rosewood section of the railway was officially closed! Former local MP Greg Aplin was instrumental in obtaining $5.7m in funding to construct this pilot rail trail.

Construction started in April 2019 of the 22km Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail and it was opened in April 2020.

"Wagga Rail Trail Inc" are working towards the development of a rail trail between Wagga Wagga and Ladysmith, a distance of approx 21km.  It is envisaged that this section would become a well used commuter path between the city centre and Forest Hill, approx 10km from Wagga Wagga once the pilot rail trail is proven.

Links

Download a map and gradient profile of the rail trail.

Snowy Valleys Council

Is responsible for the construction and management of the first section from Tumbarumba to Rosewood.

Riverina Highlands Rail Trail Inc

Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Steering Group

Wagga Wagga to Ladysmith

Tumba Rail, who have plans to operate rail trolleys at Ladysmith.

For further information on the situation in NSW click HERE.

3 April 2020

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

Contact Us About This Trail

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

Photos

Comments

Comments

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03 February , 2020 by wow01

Stage 1 of this trail, from Tumbarumba to Rosewood, is set to open on 3 April 2020. This will be the first rail trail in NSW constructed on abandoned ex-government tracks. Look out for Jolly Berries, 247 Tumbarumba Road, adjacent to the trail! Excellent blueberries.

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News

News

Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Officially Opened

(Posted: 03/04/20)

After nearly two decades of hard work by the community, the 21km rail trail officially opened today – the first rail trail on a government corridor in NSW.

More...

Cancelled - Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Opening 3rd April

(Posted: 04/03/20)

Be part of history at the opening of NSW's first rail trail on a government corridor. 

More...

Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Still on Track

(Posted: 06/02/20)

The Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail is still on track to be completed in time for the official opening on Friday 3 April this year, despite the horrendous bush fires that raced through the district.

More...

Construction Starts on NSW's Tumbarumba Rail Trail

(Posted: 25/04/19)

The rail trail from Tumbarumba to Rosewood will be the first one in NSW on the formation of a former government railway

More...

Federal Government Reaffirms Support for Riverina Highlands Rail Trail

(Posted: 29/04/09)

The Member for Eden Monaro, Mike Kelly says the Federal Government is keeping a promise by spending $220,000 for stage one of this rail trail.

More...

Riverina Highlands Rail Trail (NSW) a step closer

(Posted: 18/07/06)

The Riverina Regional Development Board has adopted the recommendations of a feasibility study to proceed with the rail trail. More...

Riverina Highlands Rail Trail (Southern NSW) Feasiblity Study starts

(Posted: 01/02/06)

Funding has been announced for the study and public meetings are to take place in March 2006.

More...

Riverina Highlands Rail Trail Feasibility Study EOI

(Posted: 14/08/05)

Expressions of Interest in the conduct of a Feasibility Study to address the feasibility of utilising former railway corridors from Tumut to Batlow and Wagga Wagga to Tumbaruba for rail trails are being sought. More...