Trail Open

North Mount Lyell Rail Trail

Tasmania - West Coast

4 based on 1 reviews
Location: South of Queenstown: through Lynchford and over Mt Jukes. , 290km from Hobart
Length: 12 km
Surface: Compacted earth
Start / End: Bird River to Kelly Basin and Pillinger
Public Transport: None
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • WalkingWalking

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
This great trail follows a historic former railway route through lovely rainforest inside the World Heritage Area.

Attractions

Kelly Basin and Pillinger are historic town sites on the shores of Macquarie Harbour.

Trail Guide

  • This great trail follows a historic former railway route through lovely rainforest inside a World Heritage Area.
  • Kelly Basin and Pillinger are historic town sites on the shores of Macquarie Harbour.
  • A 5km section from the Bird River turnoff to Bird River is suitable for 4WD and bicycles.
  • From Bird River the trail is for walking only.
  • Allow a full day for the walk to Pillinger.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Toogee people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Rail line history

The North Mount Lyell Railway was built to operate between the North Mount Lyell mine in West Coast Tasmania and Pillinger in the Kelly Basin of Macquarie Harbour.

It was built mainly to transport ore from Gormanston east of the West Coast Range to the Crotty smelters.

The line was also opened for passengers in December 1900.  Stopping points were Gormanston junction, King River and Ten Mile.  A small rail motor was utilised in the last years of operation.

Due to failure of the Crotty smelters and the North Mount Lyell operations in general, and the amalgamation of the Mount Lyell and North Mount Lyell mines and companies, the railway had a short operational life.  It closed to passengers in July 1924 and closed in 1929.

The railway bridge at the King River, and the old rail formation were utilised right up to the damming of the River and the creation of Lake Burbury by the Hydro Electric Commission in the 1980s. The railway formation between the Linda Valley and the old locality of Darwin is now under water.

 

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