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monaro rail trail
Optimism for Monaro Rail Trail

A report on the proposed rail trail from Queanbeyan near Canberra to Bombala on the Monaro high plain suggest the route has considerable tourism potential.

The Monaro Rail Trail would stretch 208 kilometres south from the ACT region, creating a 3-5 day experience on family friendly gradients.

Canberra, where many people ride bikes already, is seen as an attractive catchment for adventurers taking the trail into the remote rural landscape.

"We do believe that the proposal has merit and that a well-planned and constructed trail along the alignment of the redundant rail way line would offer a great cycle tourism opportunity”, the pre-feasibility report says.

It also says that the proposal requires legislation to enable use of the railway easement for the long term, appropriate funding for a high-quality gravel trail, and commitment from landholders and communities along the alignment to establish and deliver appropriate services to riders, such as accommodation, hospitality, experiences and attractions.

"There are many interesting rail features including heritage listed bridges, sidings, sheds and stations all of which add to the experience and the story that can be told", the report says.

"The pastoral story and heritage of the region is also visible through properties and remnants of the earlier role of the railway to transport wool and other produce."

The reports cautions that whilst villages/towns are well situated for overnight accommodation, the distance between them is too long for the target market without good stopping places and interesting experiences during the day.

The preliminary costs estimate is $37.8M, of which $21M would be for trail construction.

You can read the full pre-feasibility report here.

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