Rail Trail Beginnings

Want some of the history that went into the making of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail?

2003 – Owen Fitzgerald saw a VHS video on the Central Otago Rail Trail in New Zealand and had a dream of a similar rail trail from Tumbarumba to Wagga Wagga.  He and others gauged the level of support in the area with many meetings and committees formed.

2006 – Funding of $60000 between the councils involved at the time, RAAF and Government to employ qualified consultants to do a feasibility study – Transplan Pty Ltd.  Deemed a feasible project.

Many community meetings held in communities along the rail corridor.  Much support garnered but farmers had concerns that needed to be addressed.

2009 – Close to official closing of the railway line but became a political issue and shelved.

2011 – NSW Transport Minister indicated support for proposal if community agreed.

2012 – spent garnering support

2013 – A steering committee formed and decided to focus efforts on one council area only – Tumbarumba Shire. Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail project was born.

2014 – Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Committee members and Councillors attended formation of Rail Trails for NSW in Parliament House Sydney.  Local MP Greg Aplin became a champion of the cause with Tim Fischer former Deputy Prime Minister, also very supportive with others working behind the scenes.

Late 2014 – Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail committee submitted unsolicited application for funding of Rail Trail through MP Greg Aplin.

2015 – Expression of Interest submitted to NSW Government and considered exemplary document and awarded just under $5million for the project.

2016 – Political process to close the rail corridor began with multi-departmental committee formed.

2016 – Tumbarumba Shire was merged with Tumut Shire to form Snowy Valleys Council (SVC)which further delayed the construction and implementation process as an Administrator was in place pending the formation of a new council in 2017.

2017 – 22 June and Act of Parliament allowed closure of the rail corridor and permission granted to remove infrastructure.

2018 – Rail corridor transferred to Crown Lands and SVC entrusted with its management. Collaborative working committee with SVC and Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail Committee to guide construction.

2019 – Construction started in February 2019.  Huge excitement!

April 2019 – Official turning of the sod ceremony with all the main people involved.

April 2020 – Official opening held virtually due to Covid restrictions. Rail Trail very popular with locals during lockdowns.

April 2021 – First Birthday and Family Fun Day held along the Rail Trail to celebrate.

May 2022 – According to counters installed along the trail over 40000 users have made use of the rail trail since it opened in 2020.

Summarised from Grant Harris and Owen Fitzgerald’s words which appear in the book ‘Recycling Rail Tumbarumba-Rosewood Train & Cycle History’ by Ron Frew for Tumbarumba Historical Society – pages 116-118.

Additional information by Debbie Harris.

sign of acknowledgement
sign of acknowledgement

Please note this page is an unofficial page for the rail trail run by volunteers and ‘friends’ of the rail trail. We acknowledge the funding bodies as in the above photo.

Contact us: tumbarumbashirerailtrail@gmail.com

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