ON TRACK: Rail Trail deadline approaches
MOMENTUM is building towards a Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail with two weeks remaining to submit a "wish list' to the State Government.
Almost 70 people, representing 17 different community and sporting groups, from as far away as Bouldercombe and Gayndah were at the third Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail committee meeting this month, showing the level of interest in developing the trail.
The group has been inspired by the success of other ventures around Australia where rail trail tourism has bought economic benefits to small communities along disused railway corridors.
Peter Kleis, park ranger at the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, one of Queensland's most popular rail trails, said visitor numbers to the BVRT had been steadily increasing in the past year.
Approximately 90 per cent of trail users are cyclists who like the easy gradients on the rail corridors.
"The 161km trail is visited regularly by residents, scouting and school groups, walking and cycling clubs and a few international tourists who were keen to ride the track," Mr Kleis said.
"Cycle Qld recently held a three ride, which was attended by 240 cyclists and they provided a much needed boost to the communities along the trail.
"One hall was able to fund a new kitchen from the visitors they had catered for...a lot of pubs have done well with accommodation," he said.
BVRT ambassador, Paul Hayman said the BVRT had become a cult trail for cyclists and was very popular with endurance cyclists.
He estimated that the BVRT was visited by 1000 people each month and growing.
"The trail website averages 5000 visits each month, the majority from SE Queensland, but more people from further abroad and overseas are logging in," he said.
"We did have one rider from Singapore come out to ride the trail."
The Queensland Cycling Action Plan has plans to invest $14 million over four years to develop rail trails on disused lines around the state.
Now the Boyne Burnett Rail Trail committee has two weeks to submit a request to the State Government outlining which sections of track, bridges and tunnels they'd like to retain.
17 different community and sporting groups were also in attendance along with Cr Desley O'Grady and Member for Callide Colin Boyce.
The next meeting of the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Committee will be held at 10am on March 9 at the Mungungo Pub. Further information can be found on their Facebook page.
The group held their third meeting on Friday February 9 at the Boyne Valley Community Discovery Centre at Ubobo which was attended 68 people from as far away as Bouldercombe and Gayndah.