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Linking central Victoria via the old railway line
Work continues on extending the O’Keefe Rail Trail from Axedale to Heathcote, with the Derrinal area being the current focus.
A challenging area for trail planning and construction, the decision to place a certain section of the new trail on the original railway alignment did have ramifications. This particular alignment had the old railway track bed forming part of another bed, that of Lake Eppalock! Depending on the time of year and weather conditions, water may be all that you can see in this area! The outcome saw the construction of O’Keefe Rail Trail’s Lake Eppalock Causeway during a ‘window’ while lake water levels were low. A massive earthmoving task, with the shifting of nearly 100,000 cubic metres of soil, then installing a 90m steel bridge over the Mt Ida Creek.
While the trail crossing of the lake is still closed to the public, until the works for this section are fully completed, construction of the trail continues southwards with a bypass of the original Derrinal Railway Station site.
The bypass has meant 1000s of cubic metres of soil being required to construct the new trail bed, much of this new trail alignment being located within forested road reserves (but not shared with vehicles) in Derrinal.
While the Knowsley area of the proposed new trail route has been ‘skipped over’ for the present time, the O’Keefe Rail Trail is edging closer towards Heathcote each week. Are you excited, are your 2015 ‘escape’ plans being firmed up?
Such a shame there is no water from Eppalock under the bridge at Derrinal. Did look absolutely beautiful when the water was there. Now it is not so lovely to look at.