Over the past 28 years, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has extended along the former ‘Wandong, Heathcote, Sandhurst railway line’ to be now approximately 50kms between Bendigo and Heathcote. A 2018 feasibility study’s report determined that a connected proposed Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail, broadly along the remainder of that former railway line, was feasible and would be a positive economic impact for those connected small communities.
The report’s Stage 1 development included building a trail section between Tooborac and Heathcote (17kms), bringing attractions such as wineries, breweries, bed and breakfasts, hotels, and public nature reserves within easy reach of rail trail users. Tooborac also has much past history to be explored as well, like seeking out remnants of the former railway’s turntable, or the former McIvor Timber and Firewood Company engine shed and manager’s residence.
While little now remains within the former railway station yards, the Station Master’s residence (now a private residence) is a direct link to the importance that the former railway was to the Tooborac district.
Local employment and businesses await the Mitchell Shire Council to prioritize progressing this proposed rail trail’s ‘Stage 1’ development, so as to benefit from the opportunities that such trails attract and provide. Inquires relating to this project can be made to the Mitchell Shire Council. as well as letting local member for Euroa Steph Ryan MPknow of your support for this development that may assist COVID19 recovery for those impacted within the local community.