tourism | November 03, 2022

Funding to get Casterton Branxholme Rail Trail project on track

The Nationals in government will provide $250,000 to kick off a project to develop 54 kilometres of disused rail line between Casterton and Branxholme into a walking and cycling trail.

The Casterton Branxholme Rail Trail is a joint project between the Glenelg Shire Council, Casterton Business and Development Association, and Casterton District Historical Society.

Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Emma Kealy said the trail would integrate culture, heritage and nature, passing through some of Victoria’s first European inland settlements and also taking in Victoria’s oldest timber railway bridge, the Wannon River Bridge constructed in 1884.

Trails will also be created within the rail corridor between the towns of Casterton, Sandford and Merino as part of the project.

“The growing popularity of rail trails across Australia, coupled with Glenelg Shire’s rich natural landscape and cultural heritage, means this project will help support an increase to the local tourism market by showcasing the beautiful natural landscape and history of the local area,” Ms Kealy said.

“Backing community projects is vital in helping Victoria to recover and rebuild.

“This project has the support of all local stakeholder groups, including landholders and communities along the route. I am proud to support it for not only the direct benefits it will deliver to the local community, but for the encouragement it will provide to all Victorians to get active and improve connectivity.”

A 2020 feasibility study estimated the total cost of the project – which would be completed in stages – to be between $15 million and $19.5 million.

The project will include upgrades to the Casterton Railway Precinct and also Wannon River Bridge, with the latter upgrade representing about a quarter of the total estimated project cost.


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