Friday, 22 August 2008

A Rail Trail

In 1879 they opened a new railway line extending from Geelong to the seaside town of Queenscliff - for passengers and to service the military fort there. The line wandered through the Bellarine Peninsula for about 34 kilometres. In 1976 it closed.

About ten years earlier, the railway at the Cement Works at Fyansford had closed and two steam engines had been donated to the Geelong branch of the Australian Railway Historical Society. When the Geelong-Queenscliff line closed in 1976 the steam engines were moved to Queenscliff, and about three years later weekly tourist trips started on the Drysdale-Queenscliff section of the line. They still operate every Sunday, and more often in the school holidays. The Blues Train is very popular - meals and drinks with live music - and run over the summer.

Of particular interest to environmentalists however, is the Rail Trail that has been established on the old railway line from Geelong to Drysdale, and beside the railway line from there to Queenscliff. There is a lot of interesting remnant vegetation along the trail, there is a Friends Group replanting and weeding and installing seating and local schools are also involved. It's now a popular bike and walking track through the rural areas on the peninsula, and well worth exploring.

The photo was taken near the start of the Rail Trail at South Geelong near the Showgrounds. It's hard to miss - I counted five signs.

1 comment:

Mosura said...

That's what they do with a lot of old railways in Britain. Here in Tassie not too long ago some people wanted to do the same but I believe they ended up selling the land cheaply to the adjoining farms. What a waste.