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Rosstown Rail Trail

Victoria - Melbourne region

2.4 based on 5 reviews
Location: Southern suburbs, 9 km from the CBD
Length: 8.8 km
Surface: Asphalt, Concrete
Start / End: Elsternwick to Oakleigh
Public Transport: Bus, Train
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • PramsPrams
  • Scooters and Inline SkatesScooters and Inline Skates
  • WalkingWalking
  • WheelchairsWheelchairs

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Potential RT
  • Other Trail
  • Former Railway
View Map
  • An intriguing journey showing how entrepreneur William Murray Ross shaped Melbourne’s southern suburbs in a failed bid to create a community bearing his name
  • Two-thirds of this railway heritage route is on-road for cyclists, unless accompanying under-12s on footpaths, and better suits walkers following what’s left of the route of a private railway that ran just one train, in 1888

Nearby Attractions

  • Boyd Park and Outer Circle Rail Trail
  • Djerring Trail north to Caulfield and south to Yarraman stations
  • Elwood Canal
  • St Kilda Botanical Gardens
  • Port Phillip Bay and beaches
  • Rippon Lee Estate historic mansion and gardens

Last updated: 10 November 2023

This trail is made up of concrete shared paths and asphalt on-road sections, some of which have bicycle lanes. There are wayfinding signs at regular intervals.

Access Points

  • Elsternwick Railway Park, Riddell Pde
  • E.E. Gunn Reserve car park, Dorothy Ave, Ormond
  • Oakleigh or Hughesdale station carparks

For public transport options go to ‘GET AROUND’ below

 

Section Guides

Elsternwick to Ormond (4km)

From Elsternwick Railway Park, the trail bears left into Clarence St past the site of the Garden Vale Station. The route goes onto the road, with a brief respite at Princes Park, a former wetland that became a landfill site. The line ran on an embankment that is now Dover St, which was created with spoil from the Bambra Hill cutting, now filled in again. Curraweena Park is the start of the largest section of remaining railway reserve, with a seperate path to the north for walkers. E.E. Gunn Reserve is a good place to stop, with play equipment, picnic facilities and toilets

Ormond to Oakleigh (4.8km)

William Ross was forced to build an underpass for his line under the Frankston one, but went overboard with room for four lines, where the Rosstown shared path now runs. After a long stretch on Oakleigh Rd, watch for the turn into Koornang Rd, where the line moved slightly north to reach the sugar beet factory. There’s another short stretch of shared path in Rosanna St Reserve before a big curve in Murrumbeena Cres. From the end of Murrumbeena Cres you can walk or ride to Hughesdale Stn or take Freda St to get to Galbally Reserve, where the heritage route meets the Djerring Trail on the way to Oakleigh Stn. Download the City of Glen Eira brochure in ‘Further Information’ below for more detail

CONNECTING TRAILS

Take the Elwood/Elster Canal Path west to the Bay Trail or hook onto the Anniversary Outer Circle Trail from Oakleigh to get as far as Fairfield

Public Transport

Being a rail trail between two active lines makes life easy. Elsternwick Station on the Sandringham Line is near the start and Oakleigh and Hughesdale Stations (Pakenham/Cranbourne lines) are at the other end. Walkers can take a rain check with the route 64 tram on Hawthorn Rd or the route 625 PTV bus on Koorang Rd.  As always, bicycle carrying restrictions apply.

Refer to the PTV web page for map and timetables, or the navigation program of your choice.

Do you know of a bike hire or transportation service on this rail trail that should appear here? If so, let us know at admin@railtrails.org.au.

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6 reviews of “Rosstown Rail Trail”

City of Glen Eira has removed all the old red and white trail signs with their locomotive logos and replaced them with green signs that are hard to read. Still no signage for the rail trail where it ends in Galbally Reserve, Oakleigh. The last sign is outside the servo on the corner of Kangaroo Rd and Poath Rd, which is not a great place to finish a walk or ride. Trail users shouldn't have to navigate Poath Rd.

If you are a gunzel or ticking off all the rail trails, I highly recommend doing this once, and once only. For the more sane of us, one to avoid as most of it is on-road, on streets which are too narrow for cars to pass easily. After the beauty and effort put into the Outer Circle Rail Trail this was a significant disappointment.

Walked this starting at Elsternwick Station and ending at Oakleigh Station. Signage is good along the way until you get to Murrumbeena Crescent, then you have to rely on the Rail Trails Australia map. This is mostly along suburban streets. Very busy. Recommend stopping at Murrumbeena Pantry or Citizen cafe along the way for a bite to eat.

A pleasant enough ride but, starting from Oakleigh Station, we found the signage inadequate and confusing. Indeed, riding east to west, we did not see a clear Rosstown Rail Trail sign until the corner of Rosanna and Lascelles streets. From there on, the ride was reasonably straightforward; but whoever is responsible for the Oakleigh half appears to be discouraging cyclists.

Rosstown Rail Trail done. Number 10 and the first urban rail trail completed on my quest to ride every one in the 30th-anniversary year of my liver transplant. This former railway with an interesting history only ever had one train use it, and I will do the same as there is no reason why anyone would want to come back and do it again. It is generally on-road, mainly on quiet suburban streets through City of Glen Eira but with numerous main road crossings. I had a few issues with the signage, but I took the map from the Rail Trails of Victoria book and that helped. I didn’t notice a beginning or end either. Tick! Move on. 8km.

I rode this trail yesterday (April 26th 2015) from Hughesdale to Elsternwick and back. I really enjoyed it. I was surprised that it is so well signposted – was expecting minimal signage, but it was completely the opposite. It was very hard to get lost on this trail. Only one confusing part was going under the Frankston train line to E E Gunn Reserve. Going through the backstreets of Ormond, Caulfield South and Carnegie was really interesting – parts of Melbourne I rarely visit. The biggest issue I had was all of the parked cars on both sides of the roads meant in places only a single line of traffic could get through – especially in Dover St and Oakleigh Rd – so I was forced to wait for cars to go through. However, car drivers didn’t show me the same courtesy and there were a number of times I was forced into parked cars when 4WD drivers thought they could squeeze through at the same time without waiting.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Railway history

The Rosstown Railway Heritage Trail charts the original course of the private line which was the life-long dream of William Murray Ross.  He built the line with the intention of transporting sugar beet to his sugar beet mill, and the refined product to the Port of Melbourne. From start to finish, the railway line was plagued with problems, ranging from a lack of funds to construction delays.  When the mill failed to begin production, the line fell into disrepair without being used and was eventually dismantled, with the land being sold.

However we have to give credit to this unlucky entrepreneur who made the City of Glen Eira and its surrounds what it is today.

Trail descriptions are maintained by volunteers. Please consider a donation to help improve this website. Rail Trails Australia gets no government funding.
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