23 Sep Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Dawes Range section opens
More than 400 outdoor enthusiasts explored the Dawes Range section of the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail on foot, bike and horse back at its official opening on September 11.
The Kalpowar to Builyan section of the trail, which is about 32km, and includes six impressively engineered tunnels built in the 1920s, follows the train track that was once crucial to transporting everything from dairy to timber and cattle.
Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail (BBIRT) Association’s Desley O’Grady said the trail, which passes through the townships of Kalpowar, Barimoon Siding, Golembil Siding, Many Peaks and Builyan, offered beautiful views of the Dawes Range and other National parks in the area.
“The rail trail really is for everyone to use,” she said.
“I know every time I come I find something different to look at and take in.”
Desley said on behalf of the BBIRT Association she would like to thank all the members and volunteers for their hard work over the past four years.
“In the last eight weeks alone they have put in over a thousand volunteer hours with machinery, shovels and their bare hands to get this section of the trail ready to open,” she said.
“Everyone has worked so hard on this community project.
“I would also like to thank the State and Federal governments, and North Burnett and Gladstone regional councils for their support of their project.”
Gladstone Regional Council has been awarded $80,000 as part of the State Government’s Rail Trail Local Government Grants program, to undertake restoration works on the rail trail surface and essential drainage on the Dawes Range tunnels section.
A matching $80,000 investment was gifted to the trail by the Bradley Wolfe Braveheart Association, with this joint investment dedicated to enabling disabled access from the car park to the first tunnel.
This additional funding, announced on September 14, builds on the $429,000 already committed to the trail by the State Government.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said use of the historic line for recreational activity means a part of Queensland’s rail history will be preserved.
“Cycling, horse riding and walking enthusiasts in Central Queensland are going to love the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail, a 270km link from Taragoola to Gayndah,” he said.
“Queenslanders can depend on us to continue working cooperatively with local councils and bike-riding groups to prioritise and build projects the community wants and needs.”
The Boyne Valley Trail, 36km from Calliope to Ubobo, will be the next section of the BBIRT to open, and once the entire 270km is complete it will become the longest rail trail in Australia.