Casterton-Branxholme Rail Trail Feasibility Study

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Consultation has concluded on this Study.  Thank you for your participation.

The feedback is being collated to report back to Council


What is it?

This draft Casterton-Branxholme Rail Trail Feasibility Study provides advice regarding the development of a shared use trail for the entire 54 km length of the disused rail corridor and for sections within the corridor between the townships of Casterton and Sandford (4 km) and between Casterton, Sandford and Merino (24 km).

The draft Casterton-Branxholme Rail Trail Feasibility Study is being developed in parallel with the Glenelg Shire Council Tracks and Trails Strategy.

The draft Feasibility Study considers the following:

  • Tourism opportunities along the trail;
  • Development of sections between Casterton and Sandford (4 km), between Sandford to Merino (20 km) and lastly between Merino to Branxholme (30 km);
  • Required infrastructure;
  • Implementation costs;
  • Governance and Recommendations.

The draft Feasibility Study is a high level feasibility analysis funded by the Victorian Department of Transport . It draws together the results of consultation, analysis of socio-economic benefits and the development of shared trail concepts, including recommendations and preliminary cost estimates.

Project Background

The rail line was closed in 1977 and much of the infrastructures including the rail lines, sleepers and bridges have been removed. Some of the more significant features remain such as the remarkable timber bridge over the Wannon Floodplain and River.

Rail Trails are shared use trails sited along disused rail lines. These trails have been extensively developed throughout Australia and New Zealand due to their relatively level gradients and the trails’ differentiation from vehicular roads, becoming particularly attractive to recreational cyclists. Many rail trails traverse countryside and small towns which can be extremely attractive to tourists, many of whom have been introduced to cycling through Australia’s network of Rail Trails[1].

This draft Feasibility Study includes the results of discussions with agencies that have management responsibility for the disused rail corridor (VicTrack and VLine).

Much of the disused rail line is bordered by private property or is situated on land that is leased and or currently used for agricultural production. There has been initial consultation with landowners and further development of the proposal will include more involved discussions with landowners and communities.

The study area includes small areas of vegetation regrowth and places of special heritage significance including those protected under the Heritage Act 2017 and under the stewardship of Heritage Victoria. These important features have been recognised and considered in the planning and siting of the trail, and where required a permit application process would be undertaken.

The trail routes focus on the future needs of the users, making the trail experience fun, enjoyable and as safe as possible. The report describes the well-being benefits that would be derived from the construction of the rail trail as well as economic benefits.

The Casterton to Branxholme Railway Line crossed two local government areas, the current Glenelg Shire Council and the Southern Grampians Shire Council (SGSC). The Glenelg Shire Council is leading this feasibility study and will be shared with the Southern Grampians Shire for their future consideration.


Progress Update

Targeted engagement sessions have been undertaken to date with identified stakeholders and interested community members. Stakeholder feedback was taken into consideration while developing the Draft Feasibility Study. The draft is now available for wider considerations and will be open for public feedback through 26 February 2020.

Draft study is available to view and provide feedback at any Glenelg Shire Customer Service Centre or on Your Say Glenelg.


What is it?

This draft Casterton-Branxholme Rail Trail Feasibility Study provides advice regarding the development of a shared use trail for the entire 54 km length of the disused rail corridor and for sections within the corridor between the townships of Casterton and Sandford (4 km) and between Casterton, Sandford and Merino (24 km).

The draft Casterton-Branxholme Rail Trail Feasibility Study is being developed in parallel with the Glenelg Shire Council Tracks and Trails Strategy.

The draft Feasibility Study considers the following:

  • Tourism opportunities along the trail;
  • Development of sections between Casterton and Sandford (4 km), between Sandford to Merino (20 km) and lastly between Merino to Branxholme (30 km);
  • Required infrastructure;
  • Implementation costs;
  • Governance and Recommendations.

The draft Feasibility Study is a high level feasibility analysis funded by the Victorian Department of Transport . It draws together the results of consultation, analysis of socio-economic benefits and the development of shared trail concepts, including recommendations and preliminary cost estimates.

Project Background

The rail line was closed in 1977 and much of the infrastructures including the rail lines, sleepers and bridges have been removed. Some of the more significant features remain such as the remarkable timber bridge over the Wannon Floodplain and River.

Rail Trails are shared use trails sited along disused rail lines. These trails have been extensively developed throughout Australia and New Zealand due to their relatively level gradients and the trails’ differentiation from vehicular roads, becoming particularly attractive to recreational cyclists. Many rail trails traverse countryside and small towns which can be extremely attractive to tourists, many of whom have been introduced to cycling through Australia’s network of Rail Trails[1].

This draft Feasibility Study includes the results of discussions with agencies that have management responsibility for the disused rail corridor (VicTrack and VLine).

Much of the disused rail line is bordered by private property or is situated on land that is leased and or currently used for agricultural production. There has been initial consultation with landowners and further development of the proposal will include more involved discussions with landowners and communities.

The study area includes small areas of vegetation regrowth and places of special heritage significance including those protected under the Heritage Act 2017 and under the stewardship of Heritage Victoria. These important features have been recognised and considered in the planning and siting of the trail, and where required a permit application process would be undertaken.

The trail routes focus on the future needs of the users, making the trail experience fun, enjoyable and as safe as possible. The report describes the well-being benefits that would be derived from the construction of the rail trail as well as economic benefits.

The Casterton to Branxholme Railway Line crossed two local government areas, the current Glenelg Shire Council and the Southern Grampians Shire Council (SGSC). The Glenelg Shire Council is leading this feasibility study and will be shared with the Southern Grampians Shire for their future consideration.


Progress Update

Targeted engagement sessions have been undertaken to date with identified stakeholders and interested community members. Stakeholder feedback was taken into consideration while developing the Draft Feasibility Study. The draft is now available for wider considerations and will be open for public feedback through 26 February 2020.

Draft study is available to view and provide feedback at any Glenelg Shire Customer Service Centre or on Your Say Glenelg.


  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded. Feedback is being reviewed

    You are invited to comment on the draft document via this ‘online’ forum to post comments and ideas on any aspect of the ‘draft’ report.

    You are invited to comment on the draft document via this ‘online’ forum to post comments and ideas on any aspect of the ‘draft’ report.

    Consultation has concluded on this Study.  Thank you for your participation.

    The feedback is being collated to report back to Council


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