INSPECTION: Rail Trails Australia president Damiam McCrohan and Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail volunteer Nick Schmidt.
INSPECTION: Rail Trails Australia president Damiam McCrohan and Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail volunteer Nick Schmidt. Contributed

Rail trail guru says Burnett section 'impressive and unique'

THE president of Australia's peak body for rail trail development has visited the proposed Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail, labelling the Burnett River Bridges section "impressive and unique”.

The proposed section runs from Mundubbera to Browns Rd near Mt Debateable and is one of three trails recommended by a feasibility study into the project, the others being Lake Awoonga and Kalpowar Tunnels.

Mr McCrohan said a "highlight” of his Queensland trip, where he also examined the Brisbane Valley, Kilkivan and Mary Valley rail trails, was "getting a better look” at the Burnett River Bridges section.

"I visited a year ago and the (BBIRT committee) has further improved the Gayndah station precinct and made good progress in clearing around bridges to keep them safe until construction of the rail trail starts,” Mr McCrohan said.

"What I saw makes for an impressive and unique rail trail with a combination of long stretches of picturesque riverside scenery and numerous impressively engineered bridges.

"These factors will make the rail trail a real attraction based on experience at many other rail trails around Australia, and benefit both towns.

"The visit concluded at the Mundubbera station precinct which has another dedicated group of local volunteers bringing this back to life, which will be further enhanced by the rail trail.

"There are many examples now around Australia of station sites like this being developed to be community focal points again, Esk being a good example.”

BBIRT committee president Mark McLachlan said the organisation had recently had a "very satisfying” meeting with Gladstone Regional Council, the lead agency on the project.

It has been indicated to BBIRT that the council is putting together a funding application for the detailed design and engineering stage.

Mr McLachlan also said he believed BBIRT was a matter of days away from receiving an access licence for areas of the Lake Awoonga and Kalpowar Tunnels sections, as the firm hired to recycle the line and sleepers, Denpaq, has almost completed its work.


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