Good news about the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, guaranteed to make you smile :)

Good news!!

Just in case you didn’t know, the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail is set to be the next BIG thing in cycling in NSW. I kid you not!!

Work has started on Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail
Work has finally started on Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail March 2019 – photo G Harris

You heard it here first!

In fact I’ve been bleating on about this Rail Trail project for years, maybe you just haven’t heard me. For fun I did a search on the term ‘rail trail’ on my blog and even I was surprised at the number of times I’ve posted about it!

What is a Rail Trail?

Rail trails are shared paths on abandoned/disused railway corridors. They are still publicly owned tracts of land despite being abandoned by the transport industry many years ago. The tracks are usually removed and replaced with road base, gravel or a sealed surface, so that the smooth gradient facilitated by the embankments, bridges and tunnels can be used by cyclists and walkers of all ages and abilities.

They are used in other states and around the world for safe walking and riding, by people in wheelchairs, or those pushing a pram. The easy gradients, with no steep hills, and the gentle curves designed for trains, work well.

Rail trails are scenic, usually very quiet and safe because of the great visibility ahead and behind and due to a lack of sharp bends and blind corners. No motorised transport (apart from mobility scooters and occasional maintenance and emergency vehicles) are permitted to use the trails.

A short history of my posts on the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail

Back in December 2013 I wrote this passionate post about how I was disappointed and offended after attending a community meetingRiding along on my pushbike This must be one of my only posts that doesn’t have any photos – and although I could go back and fix that, I’m not keen to, as my words were the most important thing to me at the time. The project had already been underway for many years before this time.

In 2014 we attended Parliament House with other Rail Trail enthusiasts to Launch Rail Trails for NSW and I even bought an appropriate dress to wear – that’s me looking absurdly smiley, with the bike on my dress!! I’m sure Gladys (then transport minister, now Premier) was impressed 🙂

Rail Trail launch 2014
Rail Trail launch 2014

In November 2015 I wrote this one featuring a dumped refrigerator, as opponents to the Rail Trail had commented in a public meeting, that the number of fridges and TVs that would be found dumped along the trail would increase. Fridge anyone?

Because we all manage to cycle with a fridge on our bikes ready to dump in an out of the way spot 🙂 Yeah right!

In September 2016 I wrote about our ongoing quest for a Rail Trail in this post The Quest for a Rail Trail, although it had been approved and funded by this time, not much was happening!

Views along the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail
Views along the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail

Then in June 2017 I wrote about the transient nature of transport – alluding to how trains had fallen by the wayside and change should be embraced. How the transient nature of transport has turned and this post held some good news that the necessary legislation had passed.

Well I can finally write that, as of yesterday, the required legislation was passed in NSW Parliament to officially close the railway line and the project can now be started.  The funding was given to the local council a few years ago and this last act of parliament was what was required to move things to the next level. Oh happy days!

Deb’s World 2017
Black cockatoos along the rail trail
Black cockatoos along the rail trail – photo G Harris

In May 2018 we had great news with the last hurdle overcome, actually changing the legislation and transferring the corridor from Transport NSW to Crown Lands and to Snowy Valleys Council so that work could finally begin. It looked unlikely until today, with construction able to start anytime soon.

This was the last hurdle before we could start work to deliver a vibrant, revitalised corridor with great tourism and recreation benefits.
“The Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail will give locals a new space to enjoy and encourage new visitors to the area.

Official Press release from Greg Aplin May 4 2018
Mannus Creek Bridge along Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail
Mannus Creek Bridge along Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail – photo G Harris

It’s finally happening NOW!!!!

It’s now March 2019 and guess what? Construction finally started a few days ago and I couldn’t be happier. Although I’ll probably be even happier when we can actually ride on the rail trail!! Not much longer to wait, it’s only been years to get to this point 🙂

Here’s a sneak peek from Phil Stone and his drone, taken on Tuesday 26 March 2019. This is just a small section of the rail trail from Figures Street to Hyne Mill but it shows how beautiful our countryside is and how lovely it will be to ride along the trail.

Please note that I have no pecuniary interest in this project, it is purely for the love of cycling and the belief in the benefits to our town. It’s mostly been a group of volunteers who have got the project to where it is now and I am proud to among them. Just one of many!

I am so happy to share this news with you. It’s been years in the making but now it’s finally happening. Many thanks to the dogged determination of good people in our community who haven’t given into the negativity or despair. Some of our friends have been working on this project for well over 10 years and we owe them a great deal for their insights and inspiration. To those who have rallied around us at the hard times, we say thank you.

Keeping history alive

The Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail will be the first Rail Trail on public land in NSW and is a pilot project for the State Government. We’ll also be keeping the rail history alive through interpretative signage and the old crew barracks restored and onsite. We are fortunate to work closely with the Tumbarumba Historical Society in order to preserve the history and educate future riders about this wonderful part of Tumbarumba’s history.

Hopefully other areas keen for a rail trail using disused corridors like ours, will get the green light to go ahead soon.

Some opponents have come up with various reasons for resisting this development and, destroying history, is a big one. My answer to this is that the way it stands, the rail corridor would be lost under a mountain of regrowth, blackberries and rubbish if it was just left to sit unused. Much of the rail, sleepers and infrastructure have already been removed (by persons unknown) since the trains stopped running in the 70s.

This way we are helping to keep the history alive and sharing some beautiful sights that were once only available to those whose property included the railway line. Collaboration with all stakeholders is essential in these types projects, as has been shown by the success of rail trails in other states, such as Victoria, just over the border from us. Thankfully we have good people working on this project and listening and taking all sides into account, all aiming for a successful outcome.

To my mind it’s a great way of opening up and showcasing the ingenuity and magnificent engineering of the designers and workers who built the line, in previous decades.

Leading the Way Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail
Leading the Way

Please note these are only my thoughts and views and I am not speaking on behalf of any particular group – just showing my support for a fabulous project in my own way!

I hope you’re smiling along with me 🙂

Deb xx

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40 Replies to “Good news about the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, guaranteed to make you smile :)”

  1. Congratulations! We have the Amy Gillett bikeway through the town I live in, in South Australia. It follows an old rail trail too and at the moment goes from the town of Oakbank through to Mount Torrens in the Adelaide Hills, about 15kms one way. It is a fantastic project and has so many walkers and bike riders using it daily. It’s also open for horse riders too but I haven’t seen that yet. It gets a huge amount of use by locals and visitors too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like its going to be a wonderful trail when its finished. You must be so pleased and proud to have been involved in pushing for this to happen. Perhaps they should name it the ‘Debs World Trail’? Got a ring to it don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great news Deb, no wonder you are smiling. I hope it gets built while I can still (hopefully) ride a bike, otherwise you may have to get one of those bikes that I can sit on a seat in the front and you pedal like crazy in the rear!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Deb,
    Hard work pays off in a big way here…it will be a great resource for so many. Dan and I walk and ride the rail trails here and love them. No traffic, very scenic, nice folks along the way. Kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great news that Rail Trails are coming to NSW. I am familiar with them in Vic and elsewhere and think they are great. Also as the land is generally still public they are relatively inexpensive to develop. Well done on your efforts in getting this one up and going.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great news! I rode on a rail trail (the 15-mile Hiawatha Trail that spans the Idaho and Montana state lines) a couple of years ago. It was magnificent! And, because it was all downhill, just about anyone could enjoy it. Btw, just because it was “downhill” didn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of peddling and good exercise. I’m looking forward to reading about your first ride!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Janis! It is such a long awaited outcome to have it actually started, we are so happy 🙂 . I love the sound of your ride too, the gradients of rail trails are suitable for all levels of riders particularly families with children. A much safer option than the busy road!!

      Like

  7. Hi Deb,
    Congratulations to you and all the volunteers! This is great news I know you have been wanting it for while. So do they pull the actual rail track up or do they create a path alongside it, or both? Do you know? How many long will be?

    And a totally unelated question… have you changed your WordPress theme lately?
    Louise

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Louise, how are things going? Thanks for your message of congratulations on the rail trail finally getting underway! It’s been a long time coming but it’s now started – phew! I did wonder if I’d be in my dotage before it was finished but at this rate I’ll still be able to ride a bike 🙂 They remove the remaining rail track, some of it has been taken over the years by unknown persons, and use the railway corridor for the actual track. It will be about 23km but by the time ride out and back that will be the length of a marathon at least! the best thing is that railways were built on gradients suitable for steam trains so there’s no massive uphills just gentle gradients which lends itself to families and people of all ages.

      No I haven’t changed my theme in quite some time, but I have been modifying it along the way. Is it working OK or did you have a question about it?

      Like

      1. HI Debbie, I’m ok thanks but life has been a bit crazy for a couple of months. Hope things will settle soon. Feeling a bit sapped of energy in the process.

        Your blog just looks different that’s all – it’s looking good. I am looking at themes for a new blog. A nightmare in itself. Once upon a time they used to put the prices in an obvious place, not now. But its typical, research on the internet and its like falling down the rabbit hole or getting sucked into a vortex. And there are so many steps to getting it to happen the way I want it… which is why it might never happen. Louise

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s a huge process which is why I’m not too keen to change again for a while. Mine is called Arcade and I’m proud I managed to set it by myself but it’s taken a while to get it looking this way.
          I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling a bit drained lately. Hopefully things will settle soon for you. I was just in Melbourne for the week with my sister as she’s had surgery and treatment for breast cancer. It’s been hard but she seems to be improving slowly now.

          Like

  8. Debbie, I love stories like this where citizens take action and claim their leisure spaces! Portland, Oregon has amazing urban walking/bike trails and my cousin has been advocating for more links to outlying suburbs both for cycling and pedestrian walk ways. Why can’t we all have more walkable communities? I’ll bet Australia and most European communities have WAAYYY better walking areas than we do here in California…it’s deplorable! I could ride my bike to my gym, but I would be afraid to lock it up outside 😦 Read this on #MLSTL…you don”t have to read mine, you already did, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts and shares Terri! We are are way behind some countries in terms of safe walking and cycling areas and I’m just so happy our trail is finally getting built! We are a very small community here and I’m happy to say we could leave our bikes unlocked at the local gym – I’ve done it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is wonderful news. I love your passion and enthusiasm and finally GETTING this done!

    Do you watch BackRoads with Heather Ewart on ABC TV? We love it.

    I don’t thing Tumbarumba has been visited. Why not shoot them an email. This would be a marvellous story!!

    Denyse x #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Denyse, I was starting to get a bit vocal and annoyed as it’s been taking soooo long to get going but now I’m a bit happier! I am known as a bit passionate and excitable at the best of times!

      Yes I enjoy Backroads and I heard that Heather was going to come to Tumbarumba but for some reason the idea got shelved unfortunately. I agree it would make a great story 🙂
      Thanks for your comment and support.

      Like

  10. I love the idea of these rail trails Deb – making something good from what’s been abandoned. I imagine they would make perfect cycling and walking trails. Good on you for being instrumental in getting this one up and running – you must be so proud of the team’s efforts
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne, it’s a great project and we’re all very proud of our efforts and for not giving in to a minority of dissenters. Time will tell how popular it will be and our town needs all the help it can get 🙂 Thanks for sharing, you are wonderful!

      Like

  11. Good on your Deb because you are so passionate about your community and Tumbarumba (I love that name!). Brisbane is hosting the The Tour de Brisbane in April (doesn’t sound quite as impressive as Tour de France but anyway). You should come and do the ride it is on April 14th my daughter’s birthday. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and I think you should be Mayor of Tumbarumba! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks Sue! It’s funny my father always used to ask me when I was running for council, he had high hopes for me too! I’m not into big long rides but enjoy rail trails so much as they’re more comfortable and usually without too many hills involved.

      Like

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