Trail Open

Rokeby to Crossover Rail Trail

Victoria - Gippsland

2.5 based on 4 reviews
Location: North of Warragul, 103km from Melbourne
Length: 5 km
Surface: Coarse gravel
Start / End: Rokeby to Crossover
Public Transport: Coach
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • Horse RidingHorse Riding
  • WalkingWalking

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • Runs through significant Parks Victoria native forest and prime West Gippsland agricultural high country
  • A good all-season rail trail with many points of interest, scenic views and facilities along the way
  • Refreshments and accommodation at Neerim South
  • History boards with trail information at various points along the trail

Attractions

  • Travels through the 360 ha Crossover Regional Park operated by Parks Victoria, then on a road reserve to Neerim
  • Mountain grey gums standing straight and tall and ferny valleys
  • Wombats, spiny anteaters and wallabies, sambar deer and birds including black-faced monarchs, olive whistlers Superb lyrebirds
  • 22 km of mountain bike trails in the Crossover Regional Park adjoining the Rail Trail

Trail Guide

This trail is in two parts, separated by a short diversion through Rokeby.  It is part of the Warragul to Noojee branch line which is also home of the impressive Noojee Trestle Bridge Rail Trail.

There are emergency marker points and seating along the trail. In an emergency, call 000 and quote the emergency marker code where you are located

This remarkable countryside of tall timber, rolling hills and scenic views is only a short drive from the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Section Guides

Rokeby Fauna and Flora Reserve to Brandy Creek Rd (1.5 km)

  • Accessible from Old Telegraph Rd West, which also enters the Fauna and Flora Reserve established in the 1960s
  • Endangered native plants
  • A branch trail along this section leads to the Tarago River picnic area, a grassed area with a picnic table, seats and good fishing

Rokeby to Crossover (through Crossover Regional Park to trestle bridge) (4km)

  • Accessible from the carpark on Lavinia St on the edge of Crossover Regional Park
  • Climbs on a 1 in 40 grade through the forest to Crossover, the steepest continuous grade on rail line between Warragul and Noojee
  • At the Crossover end of this section is the Heritage listed Crossover trestle bridge, built by the railway contractor in 1891 as a road bridge for traffic to pass above the deep cutting and railway line

Crossover to Neerim (10km)

  • The trail departs from the rail alignment and follows the road reserve to Neerim South
  • The main street of Neerim south has the former railway station’s turntable cone on display
  • Neerim South has shops, cafes and accommodation
  • Joins the old rail line about 2 km north of Neerim South at a spectacular mountain lookout in Apex Park
  • Ends in the little town of Neerim

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Development and future of the rail trail

Baw Baw Shire is planning to extend the trail to include the Noojee trestle bridge to Noojee Station Museum rail trail.

Railway history

The Noojee line was opened in sections from 1890 to 1919 and closed between 1954 and 1958. Many sections have since been sold off.

The railway was built in 1890-91 as part of a Victorian Government plan to open access to regional Victoria. It was a branch line from Warragul to Neerim south for passengers, timber and agricultural equipment and produce. In 1917-19 the railway line was extended to Noojee, but in 1926 bushfires around Noojee burned out bridges and a large amount of line. The railway also sustained huge losses in the 1939 Black Friday bushfires,. By the 1950s the railway was finding it hard to compete with road transport and began closing in stages, until it finally closed in 1958.

Since the rail closure, the Crossover bridge has been in gentle decline due to neglect and lack of maintenance. Many of the decking timbers are rotting, yet many of the uprights appear strong and stable. The bridge has considerable artistic, engineering and tourist merit. One fascinating aspect is the picket style safety railing. There is also the depth of the fern lined, steep cutting below, along which the trains laboured.

This old timber bridge at Crossover was reportedly constructed in 1892 as part of the Warragul to Noojee rail link. In 1958 that rail line closed after decades of transporting timber, farm produce, local passengers and occasional tourists. This bridge is supported by six tall trestles and spans about forty metres of ferny cuttings.

No services listed for this rail trail.

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4 reviews of “Rokeby to Crossover Rail Trail”

This was the first of three short trails my husband and I undertook over 3 days (Moe-Yallourn and Grand Ridge the other 2 – see comments on their respective pages). Signage to find the start at Rokeby was good. Trail surface is quite rough (making the going on my skinny tyred road bike a bit challenging at times – my husband’s hybrid was more suitable). The section from Crossover to Neerim Sth (while not technically a rail trail so therefore a combination of gravel road, gravel packed path adjacent to main road and dirt bush track) was quite well signposted – we missed one and spent a few hundred metres on the main road before refinding the path running parallel to the road. We realised when we turned at Neerim Sth for the return leg just how much climbing we had done on the outward leg – the return trip was all downhill.

I rode this trail today (26th December 2014) – the trail has been extended so you can ride all the way to Neerim – the part from Rokeby to Crossover is for mountain bikes – a hybrid should be okay, but will struggle when wet. The best parts are the views as you ride around Neerim. The trestle bridge at Crossover is no different from many of the other trestle bridges you can see on other rail trails around Victoria.

Gradual uphill climb from Rokeby to Crossover. Toilet, BBQ and playground facilities at Rokeby. Well maintained track, although trail bike riders seem to think they can use it too. The Crossover end ended abruptly with no signage on where to go next. Pleasent ride all the same.

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