- Rail Trail
- A short rail trail in beautiful mountain country featuring mature forests and views of the mighty Thomson River
- Experience steep cuttings with many twists and turns along the old narrow-gauge formation where Puffing Billy spent its youth
- The Walhalla Goldfields Railway is a narrow-gauge tourist service operating 3.2km of track between Thomson and Walhalla
- Walhalla was once one of Australia’s richest towns and home to over 4000 gold seekers. This lovely hamlet abounds in restored heritage buildings
- Walhalla Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine is a genuine historic goldmine where over 13 tonnes of gold was mined from up to 1km underground … you don’t go that far on tours
- The Erica Mountain Bike Park features three intermediate-level tracks in its East Trails network near the rail trail
- Thomson Reservoir is the largest of Melbourne’s dams. It holds up to 60% of the city’s supply. A public road crosses the dam wall with views from a carpark halfway across
- Tyers Junction Rail Trail
Last updated: 1 October 2023
- Erica: Park at the Erica Recreation Reserve, which has play equipment, amenities and shelter. There is limited parking at the trailhead in Mill Park
- Knotts Siding: Near the junction of Tyers-Walhalla Rd (C481) and Walhalla Rd (C461)
- Platina: From Walhalla Rd turn onto Coopers Creek Rd and, after 200m, there is an access track to the Platina Station site
- Thomson: Improved car parking across the road from the railway station. To reach the rail trail, follow the service road between the station and river to an interpretive sign. A track at the back of the railyard climbs steeply to the old railway formation
Erica to Thomson (7km)
- From Erica Recreation Reserve, follow Station St past the holiday park and onto Henty St to Mill Park, where the trail begins from a small carpark
- Cross a low-level embankment over Jacobs Creek, where there once was a huge trestle bridge, and proceed to a cutting surrounded by mountain ash
- After 1.5km you come to Knotts Cutting (now filled in) and must follow a steep track to cross Tyers-Walhalla Rd and re-join the trail
- Follow the twists and turns alongside Nelson Creek to the famous horseshoe bend. This curve is so sharp that passengers at the back of the train could see the locomotive travelling in the opposite direction.
- A replica station shed has been built at Platina. After passing beneath the original road bridge there are great views of the Thomson River valley
Note: Just before Thomson, detour around the remains of two trestle bridges. You may need to dismount – there are steep drop-offs.
- If the MTB park isn’t enough for you, you can attack a rough, 3.2km section of the former railway line heading towards Moe. It starts in front of the old St Thomas Church in Erica before plunging into what’s left of a railway cutting. At the gravel dump, cautiously follow the rail alignment across Moe-Walhalla Rd and chase it alongside the highway as far as Old Government Rd. A turn-off before then, with C4 sign, will take you back across the main road to the Tyers Junction Rail Trail. From Old Government Rd bear right on the railway corridor under the power lines to reach another cutting near Jacobs Creek Rd and the site of Watson Station. After this the rail alignment crosses the main road again and enters private land.
- At Moondarra Reservoir Rd, 17km from Moe and 12 from Erica, there is a 6.5km section of the former railway close to Moe-Walhalla Rd frequented by horse and dirtbike riders. Heading 3km north will get you close to where the rail easement disappears in the reservoir and 3.5km south will take you as far as Andersons Tk after crossing Crabhole Rd. Referred to in our guidebook as the Moondarra Rail Trail, this is only suitable for experienced mountain bike riders. It is rutted and sandy in places and overgrown in many. Long-sleeve tops and pants are recommended
The Erica Railway Museum has closed but its worth a look from Henty St 
Erica trailhead, which also serves the MTB tracks, at Mill Park 
The trail near the filled-in Knotts Cutting, which is another entry point 
Replica station shed at Platina, which served Coopers Creek 
The stretch from Platina to Thomson waiting for a mowing crew 
A bulldozer is also sometimes needed to keep the trail clear 
The diversion around the remains of two bridges near Thomson 
Approaching Thomson with railway embankment on the left 
Northern entrance to the railway reserve is steep and uninviting 
The road on the left of Thomson Station leads to the rail trail 
Holidaymakers avoiding sunburn but freezing in the Thomson River 
Approaching Erica through the last cutting before Jacobs Creek (2023)
We acknowledge the Kurnai people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.
Rail Trail History
The rail trail was developed by the Walhalla Goldfields Railway and opened in 1999.
The current Walhalla Goldfields Railway strategic plan for the railway reserve would see it developed as an extension of the railway from Walhalla to Erica.
Rail Line History
Gold was discovered at Walhalla in 1863, and created an impetus to build a railway. A campaign started in the 1880s, but it wasn’t until 1910 that a narrow-gauge line was opened from Moe to Walhalla. However, by the time the line was finished, the gold had started to peter out, and the miners used the railway to leave the area. The line was closed in stages, and the final section, from Moe to Erica, was closed in 1954. The wonderful concrete and steel bridge at Thomson was almost used by the army for demolition training, but a campaign by the Walhalla Goldfields Railway group finally succeeded in overturning that decision. The railway is open between Thomson and Walhalla with a collection of restored rolling stock, and bikes can be carried on board.