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
President’s Report, Annual General Meeting November 2023 This year has been one of significant progress on our journey towards establishing the Monaro Rail Trail (MRT). Most significantly the year ends with strong achievements. Read more…
Monaro Rail Trail on Track for Construction t’s a promising move for the MRT. Last week at the Council meeting held in Bombala, Snowy Mountains Regional Council passed a resolution to apply for a $1m grant. This grant would enable a start to trail construction.
Bombala to Jincumbilly
A petition to demonstrate local support to hasten development of the MRT was initiated by a local committee formed by the Bombala Chamber of Commerce. The petition with 150 signatures was handed to the President of the MRT and will be used as part of the MRT business case demonstrating community support.
Part of the planning for the Monaro Rail Trail is to set up short trails at each village and town along the route. These are intended to provide an opportunity for visitors to explore the local village and may encourage them to stay a little longer. The trails also serve as a recreation facility for the local residents.
The Bombala Precinct Trail is the first of these and is now open.
So, what’s the news? In this newsletter our President gives an update on progress and looks at some of the issues involved and how our local politicians are helping. On a lighter note, we look at one of our new supporters, Dane Waites, and why he is a supporter and what he is doing to promote MRT. A solid piece of news is the announcement of the consultants who will be undertaking the work for Phase 2 of the Trail Development Plan. We also look at how the MRT can be linked with an existing recreation trail in Queanbeyan to create an interesting 25 km circuit bound to be popular with residents of Queanbeyan and Canberra. Finally, you can read that the finishing touches to the Bombala Precinct trail are laid in concrete.
So, what’s the news? In this newsletter you can read of changes to the MRT Inc committee at the last AGM. Comments from both the outgoing and incoming Presidents are for you to read. Perhaps a more exciting read though, is the news of a major grant we received from the NSW Government, this grant will finalize trail development plans for the section Queanbeyan to Cooma. MRT Inc committee members meet fortnightly with the two councils involved and new President Carlo tells us a little about that. Finally, we thank those people who donated to our crowd funding campaign in 2018.
Much has been achieved through the efforts of many people including the Committee, Steering Team, Precinct Team, Consultants, Ambassadors, Friends of MRT as well as our numerous Business, Political and Community supporters. To each of you, I express gratitude for your contribution to the substantial progress.
Some of the highlights during 2022 include;
- Completion of the Trail Development Plans for three sections;
- Completion of the Bombala Precinct Trail through the Boco Rock Community Fund,
- Completion of a comprehensive Business Case based on the successful NSW Rail Trail projects but with strengthened economic data,
Funding of almost $273,000 is being provided by the NSW Government to complete the Development Plan for the Monaro Rail Trail (MRT) between Queanbeyan and Cooma.
“MRT Inc is very pleased to hear the news of the NSW Government funding that will be used to further develop preparatory work required for the Monaro Rail Trail,” Mr Botto said.
“This will move us significantly closer to finalising a business case and other work that’s required to apply for a grant to commence work on the MRT.”
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 213 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.