Bicycle Network: Regional Routes
Daylesford - Macedon Ranges Rail Trail: Campaign updates
This exciting new Rail Trail proposal between the important regional towns of Daylesford and Woodend will be a world-beating experience, and a welcome addition to Victoria's Rail Trail network
Daylesford - Macedon Ranges Rail Trail takes next step
29 October 2012. Planning for the Daylesford to Macedon Ranges Rail Trail has taken the next step with the launch of a survey to provide input to the feasibility study.
This proposed trail is sure to be popular with riders and will provide a boost to tourism and the ecomony of the region if the design is right and reflects the needs of potential rider market.
Written and online submissions, comments or suggestions are now invited and should be received by Friday 9th November.
The Crossing Borders Tracks and Trails study is concentrating on four projects including:
- The Daylesford to Macedon Ranges Rail Trail
- The Cobb and Co (primarily on-road) Trail from Maryborough to Ballarat, and
- Two (mainly) mountain bike and walking trail projects named the Black Hill Trails, and the Creswick Trails Initiative.
It is important to note that if you would like to ride the proposed Daylesford - Macedon Ranges Trail make it clear that this is a priority project for you.
Feedback is sought on:
- How you think that developing the trails, will benefit you (and your family) and how it will benefit the community. i.e opportunity to recreate, health benefits etc.
- The types of facilities you think the municipalities should be developing to meet your needs (i.e. off-road trails, or mountain biking trails, or on road trails).
- How do you think social, recreational and tourism benefits can be maximised from the proposed trail projects?
- Any other comments, suggestions or feedback in relation to the four proposed tracks and trails projects (including how each Council could build on what is already working well or what could be improved).
A feedback survey is available on Hepburn Shire Council’s website click here.
To provide your feedback email Insight Leisure Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written submissions can be sent directly to: Jayson Moran, Insight leisure Planning, Suite 129, 199 Toorak Road, South Yarra, VIC 3141. For more information about this project contact Jayson Moran or Adam McSwain - Hepburn Shire Council on (03) 5345 9211.
New rail trail on horizon
2 April 2012. The Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail project has taken its first step with the State Government giving the green light to a $75,000 strategy plan to guide the development of the trail.
The Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty, announced that the Government had granted $50,000 to get the project rolling. Further funding is available from local government.
The Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail is a high priority for Bicycle Network and is a project of State-wide significance.
A special thank you to all the riders who wrote to the government last month as part of our special campaign to get this project going.
Rail Trails have been a big hit with the Victorian public and are drawing increasing numbers of tourists for Melbourne and other states.
They are proving to be a major competitive advantage for the Victorian tourism sector as other Australian states were slow to realise the value of Rail Trails to local economies.
A variety of trails in different locations and environments is needed to sustain the growth. There is a particular need for a trail close to Melbourne's burgeoning north-western suburbs.
“The Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail proposal is an exciting concept and represents a valuable tourism asset for the Macedon Ranges region,” said Donna Petrovich, MP for North Western Region.
“I congratulate the City of Ballarat, Macedon Ranges Shire, Hepburn Shire and Central Goldfields Shire Councils on creating a united approach to trail projects in this region.
“The Victorian Government is proud to invest in initiatives like these because they bring important benefits to the community and encourage more people to get together, get more active more often and enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of areas like these,” Mrs Petrovich said.
“We want to make it easier for communities to stay active, enjoy their sport and recreation facilities and lead healthier lives. The first step in achieving this is to identify opportunities and priorities through strategic planning,” Minister Delahunty said.
The planning strategy will also investigate a number of local initiatives which have been brought together under the ‘Crossing Borders Tracks and Trails’ banner.
The ‘Crossing Borders Tracks and Trails’ project is a joint initiative involving the City of Ballarat, Macedon Ranges Shire, Hepburn Shire and Central Goldfields Shire Councils and includes:
- The Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail;
- Creswick Tracks and Trails project;
- The City of Ballarat’s Black Hill Mountain Bike Network;
- The ‘Cobb and Co.’ trail concept, which will connect Maryborough to Ballarat via Talbot, Clunes and Creswick.
Rail trail plan gains complexity
19 October 2011. The Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail proposal received a fillip after Hepburn Shire voted to support the project, but in a move which may complicate progress, a number of new projects have been hitched to the rail trail wagon.
The Daylesford-Woodend Rail Trail has been rolled into a joint application with the City of Ballarat, Macedon Ranges Shire and Central Goldfields Shire Councils to the State Government for funding to carry out planning on a cross-council project called "Crossing Borders - Tracks and Trail" project.
The Councils have teamed up to progress on four bike projects in the region:
- The Daylesford - Woodend (Macedon Ranges) Rail Trail;
- Creswick Tracks and Trails (presumably mountain biking) project;
- The City of Ballarat's Black Hill Mountain Bike Network;
- The 'Cobb and Co.' trail concept, which will nominally connect Maryborough to Ballarat via Talbot, Clunes and Creswick.
The original rail trail project had clarity of vision, strong rider support, a sound economic rationale and political encouragement. It is now towing a caboose trio of projects that have not previously been discussed with Bicycle Network Victoria with the same high priority.
On the one hand, a larger application to the State Government covering a range of projects may be more successful and yield some efficiencies. This regional scope seems to be front of mind, with Council having identified a range of benefits from this collaborative approach:
- Creating opportunities for longer, more diverse trail experiences;
- Better connections to (more) communities;
- Improved marketing and promotion of the region as a whole.
Bicycle Network Victoria is concerned that rolling the trail in with a number of other projects risks diluting the available resources and may delay its development. There is great local support for the trail throughout the community, including fantastic support from a large and growing local working group, and it would be a shame if this move has the unintended consequence of stalling the positive momentum that has been generated so far.
An application to Sport and Recreation Victoria's Community Facility Funding Program (Planning) will now be prepared. Hepburn Shire Council also approved $10,000 in their 2012-13 budget (to join with Macedon Ranges Shire which has committed $5,500). This is a positive forward step, but it feels slow.
Waiting until until 2012-13 to take the next tangible step forward will leave a lot of people leaning on their shovels. Council is moving in the right direction, but maybe not as fast as they could be.
Bicycle Network Victoria members have been very vocal with your support for the project. Those of you that have written to Council previously may be interested in their views on why they think this strategy will generate the best outcome for the trail project. Feel free to ask by writing to Council. They are heading in the right direction, so continue to encourage them to maintain the momentum.
Trail gets a leg up in Hepburn Shire Council Strategy
21 September 2011. Hepburn Shire Council has passed a new Walking and Cycling Strategy which gives high priority to furthering the Daylesford - Woodend Rail Trail.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council has also shown strong interest in being directly involved in the development of this trail, especially if its scope can be broadened to include trail links to Kyneton and Gisborne as well as to Woodend. This is a great sign, with Macedon Ranges Shire Council being keenly aware of the benefits that will flow by having approximately 75 percent of its population connected to the Rail Trail in these three main towns.
Perhaps the Daylesford - Macedon Ranges Rail Trail is more appropriate?
As part of the adoption of the new Strategy, Hepburn Shire Council has also flagged an application, with the participation of Macedon Ranges Shire Council, to the Victorian Government's Sport and Recreation Community Facility Funding Program for a planning grant to implement a comprehensive feasibility study that will jump start the trail building process. Bicycle Network Victoria stands ready to help both Councils and the Daylesford - Woodend Rail Trail Working Group prepare and submit applications in the first instance.
Bicycle Network Victoria has been working over winter with the local community and with the various stakeholders that will be key players in the trail. Recent meetings with Hepburn and Macedon Ranges Shire Council officers and representatives from the Regional Tourism Board confirmed broad ranging support for the Rail Trail.
The cards are lining up for the trail - a great result! Kudos to Hepburn Shire for taking this great step forward, and to the local community for persistently putting in the hard yards on the ground to bring us to this point. Click here to say well done!
The strong response to the Let's Build the Daylesford - Woodend Rail Trail campaign really drove home with the local councils how much support there was from across Victoria for the development of this trail. Well done to everyone who wrote in. Keep up your interest in the trail, and we'll all be riding it soon.
Let's Build the Daylesford - Woodend Rail Trail
4 April 2011. Bicycle Network Victoria members will this week receive a copy of the "Let's Build the Daylesford - Woodend Rail Trail" publication in their bi-monthly Ride On magazine. In it, Bicycle Network Victoria asks: "Who wouldn't want a Rail Trail between Daylesford and Woodend?"
At the urging of the local community through the Daylesford to Woodend Rail Trail Working Group, Bicycle Network Victoria has been assisting with early work to develop the trail over the past year. To get involved with the working group, click here.
In concert with the local community, Bicycle Network Victoria is calling on the regional councils and the state government to prioritize the development of this new Rail Trail. Within easy access of the V/Line train network at Woodend (less than an hour from Melbourne's Southern Cross Station), the trail will meander 45 km through the central highlands and end in Daylesford, already one of Victoria's major tourism destinations.
Click on the cyclist image (picture at left) if you want a .pdf version. Warning: it is a large file (2.53Mb).
Feedback has so far been positive. Hepburn Shire Council has been giving the trail strong consideration within its walking and riding strategy review, currently underway, and otherwise have been supportive of moving the trail concept forward. Macedon Ranges Shire Council has also shown support, and a number of community representatives have made their views known about the great future of this Rail Trail.
Much of the route is well preserved and easily accessible, and the local working group has established links with the Daylesford Spa Country Railway (running between Bullarto and Daylesford) with the expectation of working in concert. So far, the railway has shown positive in principle support to the trail, though much work remains to be done in scoping out the whole route and working out the best way for trail and train to co-exist for maximum benefit to the community.
Would you like to ride a trail between Daylesford and Woodend?
Click here to contact Hepburn and Macedon Ranges Shire Councils and let them know that you'd be keen to visit the area once this trail is open for business.
New trail concept excites local community
18 February 2011. Momentum is building for the development of a Rail Trail between Daylesford and Woodend as locals realize the tremendous potential of such a scenic trail within easy access to Melbourne.
Hepburn Shire Council is now well underway with its new Walking and Cycling Strategy, which provides the perfect opportunity to consolidate planning for the trail and engage the local community in the realisation of the proposal.
The Shire's Strategy process is now in the consultation phase and over the next two weeks, public consultation sessions will be held across Hepburn Shire.
Make sure you get out to the one in your area and show your support for the Daylesford - Woodend Rail Trail, and other initiatives to improve the riding environment in the area.
- Daylesford: 23 February, 7:30 - 8:30pm, Daylesford Senior Citizens Centre
- Hepburn: 24 February, 7:30 - 8:30pm, Hepburn Primary School Hall
- Trentham: 1 March, 7:30 - 8:30pm, Trentham Neighbourhood Centre
- Clunes: 2 March, 7:30 - 8:30pm, Clunes Town hall Supper Room
- Creswick: 3 March, 7:30 - 8:30pm, Creswick RSL
The old railway line currently runs between Carlsruhe, just north of Woodend on the Bendigo V/Line route, towards the iconic Victorian spa town of Daylesford.
The total route is approximately 44km, an ideal distance for a Rail Trail, and would pass through or near the towns of Tylden, Trentham, Lyonville, Bullarto and Musk, though the defined route is still in the scoping phase.
Local support growing for a Daylesford - Macedon Ranges Rail Trail
18 June 2010. Local supporters of a Rail Trail between Daylesford and Woodend are coming together and starting to put their shoulders to the task of developing a Trail for their region.
An old railway line currently runs between Carlsruhe, just north of Woodend on the Bendigo V/Line route, towards the iconic Victorian spa town of Daylesford. The total route is approximately 44km, an ideal distance for a Rail Trail, and would pass through or near the towns of Tylden, Trentham, Lyonville, Bullarto and Musk.
Both local Councils appear supportive.
Much work is still to be done in scoping the line, identifying and working with stakeholders, developing plans and a feasibility study with costings, and sourcing funding.
Bicycle Network Victoria will have more to report in the coming weeks.