Monaro Rail Trail Inc
The association formed in August 2015 to promote the feasibility of developing a recreational cycle trail along the disused rail corridor from Queanbeyan to Bombala. Committee members are from communities along the route.
The Monaro Rail Trail
Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain has announced that a Labor Government will kick start the development of the Monaro Rail Trail.
Labor will commit $1 million to begin works on the recreational cycle trail along the disused rail corridor from Bombala to Queanbeyan, with initial works to focus on the Bombala to Jincumbilly phase of the project.
"The community has been advocating for this project for a long time and I’m so pleased to be able to make this commitment,” Ms McBain said.
Representatives from Monaro Rail Trail Inc (MRT) and Snowy Monaro Regional Council (SMRC) met on Friday 28 January 2022 to sign the historic first formal agreement for the Monaro Rail Trail, a memorandum of understanding between SMRC, MRT and Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC).
With the agreement signed, the two councils and MRT can now proceed to develop detailed plans for the rail trail, which is planned to run along the disused rail corridor from Queanbeyan to Bombala
It has been an honour to be President of MRT Inc. for the last 12 months and work with such a dynamic and competent team of passionate people to achieve our vision for the Monaro Rail Trail. I also wish to recognise the previous Committee and MRT Supporters and the great foundation work they took on to raise awareness and support.
To enable the broader scope and intensity of work by MRT Inc as we focus on securing construction funding for some initial sections, I anticipate that the new Committee will need to consider meeting every two months (rather than quarterly) and restructure the Sub-committees to enable greater participation from committee members.
To the future Councilors of the Snowy Monaro Regional Council and the Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, Monaro Rail Trail Inc. committee, its members and the community will be keen to know your views about the importance of the rail trail to this region. The upcoming 2021 Local Government Election is one avenue through which you can make your views known. We issue regular newsletters to all our stakeholders and Facebook followers and invite you to include a quotation or short article in our next newsletter which will reach out to a broad audience.
The pace of rail trails development in NSW is picking up. Although not as advanced as other Australian states, NSW is making great progress. The proposed Monaro Rail Trail (MRT) continues to attract high levels of local community and business support, and the MRT committee is encouraged by the NSW Government initiative to explore options to make rail trails a reality for NSW.
$53,859 has been granted by the Boco Rock Community Enhancement Fund to MRT Inc to construct a precinct trail linking local cycling paths to the future rail trail head at Bombala. It is planned that precinct trails will be established in all communities along the rail corridor and that the rail trail will be linked to other local cycling/mountain bike trails.
Hello rail trail supporters. In this news update you can read about our new committee and what they have been busily doing in the community as we build up the case for the MRT…
At the November AGM there were several changes in key roles. Our long serving President Mary Walters stepped aside to be replaced by Ken Lister whose enthusiasm and experience will continue the early momentum of MRT.
In December and January, the committee were out in the streets of Cooma and Bombala actively sharing information and gathering letters of support…
To help local economies recover from bushfires, $250M was made available through the jointly funded NSW and Federal governments Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund. Communities in bushfire impacted regions were able to apply for funding to cover a range of activities including infrastructure projects such as the rail trail…
Hello rail trail supporters.
In our April newsletter we told you that one of the sticking points in our progress was the delayed release of the report on the return of the Monaro train service from Queanbeyan to Bombala. In September, the NSW Government released a summary which pointed out that the proposal would not be feasible. This, week John Barilaro MP, Deputy Premier for NSW and member for the Monaro commented that it will be important to “continue to preserve the rail corridor” and that it would be appropriate to “look at other uses for the rail line – groups using the cycle way for tourism”.
Where next for the Monaro Rail Trail?
One key meeting was with NSW Senator Jim Molan. He approached MRT for a meeting in September and from that meeting the committee decided to put in a submission for federal government funding of detailed planning studies such as the business case and a technical development plan.
Our Mission Statement
Our mission is to create Australia’s greatest rail trail where people of all ages and abilities can cycle, walk and run. It will see the wellbeing of local economies flourish through tourism bringing new business opportunities and preservation of the Monaro’s rich rail heritage.
About the proposed Monaro Rail Trail
The proposed rail trail follows the disused rail line from Queanbeyan to Bombala, a distance of 208 km. The first stage of the ride is through timbered country and up a gentle 3% gradient to get out of the Canberra valley. After that it’s a level but winding run to Cooma. From there the line moves through open country to cross the Great Dividing Range near Nimmitabel. Then it’s an easy downhill run through both timbered and open country to the trail end in the township of Bombala.
Along the way there are, cuttings and embankments, timber bridges over creek and river crossings, a 160 metre tunnel and heritage listed stations and freight yards. The rural landscape changes constantly along the route and throughout the seasons. Many Monaro residents believe they have a unique landscape to share.
It is envisaged that most of the trail would be a gravel surface and will be fenced across private land. Near Canberra and Queanbeyan it might be sealed as it could be part of the ACT urban cycle network.
This trail will appeal to many people. People living along the corridor will have easy access for short rides and there will be interstate and international tourists who want a longer ride, perhaps a weekend, perhaps a week. Either way everyone will be riding in a safe off road environment.
The trail represents a great opportunity to boost the region’s tourism economy and to directly stimulate village business trade.
Management of the trail will be done through a voluntary committee made up of stakeholders including business operators, local council and rural landholders.