Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail

Linking central Victoria via the old railway line

Category Archives: Research

Creeks with no names!

With the upgrading and extension of the O’Keefe Rail Trail has come fourteen (14) new trail bridges, making a total of seventeen (17) bridges crossing various waterways along the 50km trail. When the railway line was originally built in 1887-1888, there were initially 50 bridges constructed by Andrew O’Keefe’s company! Upon recent investigations, a number of these waterways crossed by the now 17 bridges appear not to be officially named in 2015.

An O'Keefe Rail Trail bridge. Photo: Garry Long

The O’Keefe Rail Trail bridge over Mt Ida Creek. Photo: Garry Long

So why not put a recognised name to these waterways? Such would not only assist the trail manager, City of Greater Bendigo Council, to easily identify bridge assets or help with trail maintenance; naming could also assist emergency services and would also be a point of interest for trail users.

Is this 'Racecourse Flat Creek'? Photo: Garry Long

Could this be ‘Racecourse Flat Creek’ at Knowsley? Photo: Garry Long

The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail have taken up this waterway naming challenge as a new project. Not only to seek out possible names that could related to historical links or natural environment-phenomena, yet also investigate a means to fund the manufacture and installation of naming signs at each waterway. Such donations may come from family connections, comapnies or individual donors. Suggested names will be submitted to the appropriate official land management authority for approval.

The waterways crossed by the following trail bridges (with trail locations), have these ‘suggested’ names –

Bridge #3 – Somerset Park Rd – Bennetts Rd:                               ‘Homebush Creek’

Bridge #4 – Somerset Park Rd – Bennetts Rd:                               ‘Carex Creek’

Bridge #7 – Bowles Rd – Giris Rd:                                                ‘Sawpit Gully Creek’ or ‘Melaleuca Creek’

Bridge #8 – Bowles Rd – Giris Rd:                                                ‘Blind Gully Creek’

Bridge #11 – Moorabbee Rd – Moorabbee Foreshore Rd:               ‘Racecourse Flat Creek’

Bridge #12– Moorabbee Rd – Moorabbee Foreshore Rd:                ‘Sims Creek’

Bridge #13– Moorabbee Foreshore Rd – Derrinal Station Ln:        ‘Glacier Creek’ or ‘Jenkins Creek’

Bridge #15– Old Bendigo Rd – Hills Rd:                                       ‘Wallace Creek’

Bridge #16– Hills Rd – Mia Mia-Derrinal Rd:                                 ‘Evans Gully Creek’

Bridge #17– Mia Mia-Derrinal Rd – Speed St:                          ‘Parsons Gully Creek’ or ‘Wattle Gully Creek’

Contributions, that included related information, are sort for the naming of these waterways. Such can be emailed to or PO Box 578 Bendigo 3552, before 31 August 2015.

Missing ’80 mile’ marker post returns

One by one, the missing historic railway marker posts (mile posts) are returning to the former Wandong (Wallan) to Bendigo Railway reserve. Most of the original concrete posts were removed when the recovery of the former railway infrastructure happened about 40 years ago, with only very few of the originals being left behind.

The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail’s member Ken Hanson has been busy with a small yet expanding project over the past few years. Ken has produced replica concrete posts, each with individual cast numbers (numbered 73 to 100) and painted white with black numbers. Where to place them? Ken has measured the original ‘mile’ distances, so as to locate each post along the current and extending O’Keefe Rail Trail. Amazingly, Ken has sometimes even located the exact spot where the original post’s hole once was! Then, when the time was right, he has been ‘planting’ each of the new replica posts beside the rail trail.

The 80 mile post returns to Derrinal

The ’80 mile’ marker post returns to Derrinal – O’Keefe Rail Trail Dec 2014

The latest one to be installed was the ‘80’ post, in the Derrinal area, yet mechanical help was needed to ‘plant’ this one into its new position. This is due to the post’s location being at an original railway cutting. Once the extending O’Keefe Rail Trail is completed in this section, the ’80 mile’ post will be there for all to see, thanks to Ken’s efforts!

Seeking Former Railway Line History

The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail group are desperately seeking items of local history, individual’s reflections, photos, memorabilia, oral history, anything related to the former Wandong, Heathcote, Sandhurst Railway (Wallan to Bendigo).

Heathcote Railway Station. 1907

Heathcote Railway Station 1907. Heathcote McIvor Times series-La Trobe Library


History related to the building of Lake Eppalock (that caused the closure of the Heathcote to Bendigo section of the line in 1958), ‘Stranger Rock’, transporting cut timber from local sawmills at the Heathcote, Derrinal, and Knowsley Stations, VR employees, all could be triggers for ‘living the history’  that are placed at certain locations along the new O’Keefe Rail Trail.

From such, it is hoped that interesting and informative interpretive boards can be created and placed along the O’Keefe Rail Trail, perhaps at former station sites like Axedale, Axedale Racecourse, Derrinal, Knowsley, Heathcote, Longlea, Strathfieldsaye, Rangelea, Rifle Butts, and even at the North Bendigo Workshops (which had nearly 700 employees at one stage!). Such items will be a way of informing future generations about this lost transport route, as well as something to excite the history seekers!

Such historical information (originals will be returned by post) can be sent to –

The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail

P.O. Box 578 Bendigo, Vic. 3552

or Email:

Rail trail research guru being interviewed

Dr Sue Beeton, the guru of rail trail research in Australia will be interviewed on ABC Central Vic (91.1 FM – or online) on Wednesday 4 April at around 8.50 am. If you can, tune in to hear what she has to say about the importance of research like this in backing arguments for developing and maintaining existing rail trails and establishing new trails.