Monaro rail trail

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find_bruce
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Monaro rail trail

Postby find_bruce » Thu Aug 24, 2023 3:03 pm

Proposals for a Monaro Rail Trail between Queanbeyan and Cooma have been around for at least 15 years which includes a website https://www.monarorailtrail.com.au.

Latest news via the ABC though is the competing claims of the Cooma Monaro Rail who are restoring 3.5km of rail between Cooma & Snowy Junction, with dreams of re-opening the line between Queanbeyan and Bombala. The line between Cooma & Bombala closed in 1986 and in 1989 the line closed completely due to bridges washed out 20km north of Cooma.

Fundamentally its a competition for the scarcest of resources - money. The rail trail will be significantly cheaper if they remove the rails & reuse that area - having to build a parallel path would significantly add to the expense. Teh rail supporters know however that they will never be able to raise the funds to replace any line that's removed.
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Re: Monaro rail trail

Postby Mike Ayling » Sat Aug 26, 2023 9:32 am

find_bruce wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2023 3:03 pm
Proposals for a Monaro Rail Trail between Queanbeyan and Cooma have been around for at least 15 years which includes a website https://www.monarorailtrail.com.au.

Latest news via the ABC though is the competing claims of the Cooma Monaro Rail who are restoring 3.5km of rail between Cooma & Snowy Junction, with dreams of re-opening the line between Queanbeyan and Bombala. The line between Cooma & Bombala closed in 1986 and in 1989 the line closed completely due to bridges washed out 20km north of Cooma.

Fundamentally its a competition for the scarcest of resources - money. The rail trail will be significantly cheaper if they remove the rails & reuse that area - having to build a parallel path would significantly add to the expense. Teh rail supporters know however that they will never be able to raise the funds to replace any line that's removed.

The EDRT is a challenging 15km railside path that shadows the Puffing Billy Railway line in the Dandenong Ranges. The terrain varies, from undulating to hilly, and so does the surface (asphalt, gravel, dirt) so it is most suitable for mountain bikes.
The scenery is spectacular, changing regularly along the way with outstanding forests and lakes, farmland and villages. So not your traditional bike path.

I am in favour of a 200km rail trail but I also love heritage railways! However Heritage Railway Lines are usually much shorter than 200km, the ones that I am aware of would not be longer than 50km and most a lot less than that so there is an opportunity share, so much for the railway and the rest for the bike path.

Mike
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Re: Monaro rail trail

Postby warthog1 » Sat Aug 26, 2023 11:19 am

Mike Ayling wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2023 9:32 am



The EDRT is a challenging 15km railside path that shadows the Puffing Billy Railway line in the Dandenong Ranges. The terrain varies, from undulating to hilly, and so does the surface (asphalt, gravel, dirt) so it is most suitable for mountain bikes.
The scenery is spectacular, changing regularly along the way with outstanding forests and lakes, farmland and villages. So not your traditional bike path.

I am in favour of a 200km rail trail but I also love heritage railways! However Heritage Railway Lines are usually much shorter than 200km, the ones that I am aware of would not be longer than 50km and most a lot less than that so there is an opportunity share, so much for the railway and the rest for the bike path.

Mike
Is that the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail?

https://www.railtrails.org.au/trails/ea ... ges-trail/

I imagine it is not that suited for going quickly on a gravel bike?
Lots of walkers?
Seems worth a look though.
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Re: Monaro rail trail

Postby Mike Ayling » Sun Aug 27, 2023 1:10 pm

Yes EDRT short for East Dandenong Ranges Trail
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BJL
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Re: Monaro rail trail

Postby BJL » Tue Aug 29, 2023 1:45 pm

warthog1 wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2023 11:19 am
Is that the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail?

https://www.railtrails.org.au/trails/ea ... ges-trail/

I imagine it is not that suited for going quickly on a gravel bike?
Lots of walkers?
Seems worth a look though.
I was going to write a long review of this trail as I rode it a few weeks back but I'll just give a quick summary.

First of all, the 'Belgrave' end of the currently opposite Menzies Rd (Clematis end)

Most of the walkers are around Emerald (including Emerald Lake Park) and Gembrook. Cockatoo is a bit of a mess but anyway.

The rest of the trail is more remote than would be comfortable for tourist types. Most of the walkers appeared to be locals walking their dogs. So you'll get some nice fast sections, especially between Gembrook and Cockatoo, and through Wright Forest. (If you know your way around, there's a nice little trestle bridge on the Puffing Billy line in Wright Forest that isn't too far off the main trail that's worth having a look at)

If I had to rate this trail, I'd give it a 7/10. Like most of the trails in the area, it seems like a good idea but poorly executed / maintained in various locations. Good trail for the most part but.......

And a quick one for the roadies out there, Station Rd in Gembrook is now sealed so you can avoid the hill on the main road before Gembrook, if you want to that is.

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Re: Monaro rail trail

Postby warthog1 » Tue Aug 29, 2023 2:32 pm

BJL wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2023 1:45 pm


I was going to write a long review of this trail as I rode it a few weeks back but I'll just give a quick summary....

Thanks :)
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Re: Monaro rail trail

Postby find_bruce » Tue Aug 29, 2023 5:24 pm

Mike Ayling wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2023 9:32 am
I am in favour of a 200km rail trail but I also love heritage railways! However Heritage Railway Lines are usually much shorter than 200km, the ones that I am aware of would not be longer than 50km and most a lot less than that so there is an opportunity share, so much for the railway and the rest for the bike path.

Mike
I like heritage railways as well - really enjoyed the timber train at Wauchope on the NSW mid north coast & the Bellerine down in Geelong - in fact it was great fun to race the steam train over the 16km. Personally I think the rail group are deluded in thinking they will ever raise enough funds to rebuild the 3 washed out bridges, let alone the ongoing of maintenance all the way to Queanbeyan.

Realistically they couldn't afford to maintain 20km of track before & I agree with you that's about the extent of a viable heritage line
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Re: Monaro rail trail

Postby Dave_rh » Tue Oct 03, 2023 3:46 pm

find_bruce wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2023 5:24 pm
Personally I think the rail group are deluded in thinking they will ever raise enough funds to rebuild the 3 washed out bridges, let alone the ongoing of maintenance all the way to Queanbeyan.

Realistically they couldn't afford to maintain 20km of track before & I agree with you that's about the extent of a viable heritage line
Recently I was a passenger in a car from Canberra to Cooma I was watching the rail line as we drove along. The rails are rusted, sit on wooden sleepers that are rotting. There is some subsidence and erosion. The line appears to go through mostly private property with fences and gates, trees grow through it in many places. There are at least 2 major wooden bridges in state of structural disrepair, is completely buried under the Monaro highway in at least 2 places. The grade appears somewhat steep in places.

I doubt trains will ever run on this stretch again. However, any rail trail would also incur huge costs in removing the track, fixing drainage and bridges and levelling the surface, shoring up cuttings as safe and getting the resulting easement approved by landowners, who presumably own it now.

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