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Linking central Victoria via the old railway line
In late February the tender to construct a new trail pedestrian/bike/horse bridge over the Campaspe River at Axedale was awarded. The bridge-only construction work is expected to be completed in about five weeks, assuming various permits and approvals are provided on time.
The ‘T’ beam concrete bridge will be constructed with railings that will ‘fold’ down in event of a major flood. A design common for water crossings that are at risk of inundation, it reduces the bridge’s resistance to possible flood waters. When all’s clear following a flood, the hand rails are reinstated with new sheer pins.
Once upon a time the railway line ran between the through what is now the Axedale golf course, over the Campaspe River and across the river flats on the other side. (You can still see many of the original timber piles of the former 2000 ft long timber bridge marching away over the paddock on private farm land.)
The trail can’t follow the original route of the railway line on the east side of the Campaspe River as there’s now the operating Axedale Quarry in the way. Instead, the current section of the rail trail takes you into the heart of Axedale (past new public toilets under construction for a little relief). Stop at the Axedale General Store for supplies or the Axedale Tavern for lunch, before heading along the sealed section of the new trail down to the river reserve.
Each new bridge on this trail is more exciting than the last, so we’ll definitely be shouting the news when this one, which will be the trail’s largest, is open.