Tunnel entrance on old Many Peaks rail line
Tunnel entrance on old Many Peaks rail line Contributed

Rail trail still on track as old line is torn up

"We have no appetite to run trains along this line again," the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail committee were told last week.

The fourth meeting of the group was held at the Mungungo pub where Craig England, Transport Department Manager of Rail Corridors, addressed a crowd of 50 people.

Mr England informed the crowd that work had already begun removing tracks, spikes and sleepers from the corridor.

Publican Vicki Mackay said that sections of the old rail would be used for a static display near the pub.

"There used to be a siding here right next to the Mungungo pub and we're hoping to see some wagons or even an old train on it," she said.

But anyone hoping that the rail would be used in future to run light rail or historic tourist trains would have been disappointed with department's decision to refuse to keep and maintain extensive lengths of disused line.

Mr England said the contractor who had won the tender had already removed some bridges and that it was important for the group to submit their wish-list to the department of bridges and sections of track they'd like to see preserved before the end of April.

GAPDL CEO, Darryl Branthwaite, said the rail trail was an achievable goal and would be a great tourism draw card for the area.

"It's underestimated how much the communities in the area will benefit," he said.

He also said that the tunnels were unique engineering marvels.

"There's actually a small bend in the roof of one tunnel, because when the two groups excavating from either side met in the middle they hadn't quite lined things up properly," he said.

But not all the attendees were keen to see the rail trail project come into being.

Some farmers whose properties run alongside the line would prefer the track to be returned to grazing property.

People interested in the project should fill in the survey form on the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Facebook page.