Join Heathcote to Wallan !
The Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail (FBKRT) together with the Bendigo City Council constructed the O’Keefe Rail Trail from Bendigo to Axedale. More recently the group extended the trail to Heathcote.
MBUG supports FBKRT to continue the trail from Heathcote via Tooborac, Pyalong, and Kilmore to Wallan / Wandong. This could form the spine of the regional Victorian Trail Network.
Help us make this a reality!
A feasibility study was commissioned by Regional Development Victoria, Mitchell Shire Council and the City of Greater Bendigo in 2017 and this study confirmed the feasibility of the trail and noted a positive return on investment in terms of tourism and health benefits.
The Current Situation
In 2018, Mitchell Shire Council formally:
- endorsed the findings of the study,
- agreed that Mitchell shire Council would become the lead agency to receive funding, undertake the planning and oversee the construction works.
- authorised Council officers to proceed with the planning of this project.
VicTrack land between Hidden Valley and Arkells Lane.
MBUG, FBKRT and Wallan Environment Group (WEG) are now advocating for the construction of the first section of this project from Wallan Station to Kilmore, particularly taking advantage of the VicTrack owned land between Hidden Valley and Arkell’s Lane.
The Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail will transform the lives of families and individuals both locally and across the state in the following ways:
- Provide walking and riding access to the Wallan Railway Station for Hidden Valley commuters (and for cyclists from Kilmore).
- Provide access to the pristine environmental gem that is the former rail reserve adjacent to Hidden Valley.
- Provide safe, open-space recreational opportunities for adults, children and families across the municipality.
- Help reverse obesity trends in local communities consequently lowering health burdens in a cost- effective manner.
- Provide positive economic benefits for hospitality and other businesses in Wallan, Wandong, Kilmore, Pyalong, Tooborac and Heathcote.
- Increase property values along the route.
- Increase visitor economies along the length of the trail, bringing day and overnight visitors from Melbourne, elsewhere in Victoria, interstate and overseas.
- Provide all users with direct access to the living heritage of the area, with particular links to Indigenous cultural heritage and the history of the disused railway line.
- Link to many other trails and towns across Victoria (including Melbourne), providing a web-of-trails for further exploration and enjoyment.
The next Steps
- Update and expand the 2017 business case for the Wallan RS.to Kilmore section (including review of the 2017 cost estimate).
- Complete the planning required prior to construction including – land access negotiations, preparation of Environmental Management Plans and Cultural Heritage Plans.
- Undertake construction of the Wallan Railway Station to Kilmore section of the Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail.
How can I help?
- Join MBUG, FBKRT or WEG to assist the planning group.
- Encourage Mitchell Shire residents and businesses to support the development of the trail.
- Write / email your local Councillors, Members of Parliament asking for their support and requesting funding allocation.
Email All Mitchell Shire Councillors – firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Members of Parliament –
The Hon Jacinta Allan MP – email@example.com
Ms Lauren Kathage MP – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Annabelle Cleeland MP – email@example.com
Mr Ben Carroll MP – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Rob Mitchell MP – email@example.com