Castlemaine-Guildford rail trail idea starts rolling

The disused Castlemaine to Guildford railway corridor should be turned into a rail trail, keen local cyclist Lou Citroen believes.
The Castlemaine recreational cyclist has contacted Mount Alexander Shire Council to canvass the plan and seek support to make it happen.
His suggestion comes as the disused Castlemaine to Guildford track is currently being taken up by Victorian Goldfields Railway volunteers.
Working with approval of VicTrack and the Department of Transport, the VGR volunteers will then recycle the steel rail to replace the worn and far older rail on the Castlemaine-Maldon tourism railway between Castlemaine and Muckleford.
The old 9.1-kilometre Castlemaine-Guildford track has not been used by passenger trains for many years and the track that’s being taken up is no longer suitable for modern V/Line passenger trains.
But it’s removal by the volunteers prompted renewed suggestions that the corridor – once it’s cleared in about six months time – might again be revisited for reinstating with new track as part of re-opening the currently disused Maryborough to Castlemaine line.
The Express pursued this line of questioning with the state’s Department of Transport. But a department spokesperson said the proposal was not on the table.
“There are no current plans to reinstate a passenger railway service between Maryborough and Castlemaine,” she told the Express.
It’s a response that does not disappoint Mr Citroen, however.
The qualified mechanical engineer believes turning the disused rail corridor into a rail trail would bring plenty of benefits for locals – and bring visitors to the region.
“I’ve cycled on five of Victoria’s rail trails and this would be fantastic for the community,” said Mr Citroen who’s now awaiting a council response to his suggestion.
“The gentle gradient is limited to one in 400 for trains so it makes it easy for mums and dads and kids to safely exercise,” he said.
“It brings out the community.
“I’d be happy to hear from other cyclists to keep moving this idea along.”

5 thoughts on “Castlemaine-Guildford rail trail idea starts rolling

  • February 11, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Like Lou Citroen i have cycled 5 of the Victorian Rail trails and the section of the disused railway line from Castlemaine to Guilford would make a world class rail trail given the beautiful valley it goes through.
    Thus would bring more tourists to Castlemaine and even more importantly to Guildford. Thus section should be stage one of the rail trail going all the way to Maryborough. Stage 2 would be from Guilford to Newtead, and stage 3 from Newstead to Joyces Creek.

  • February 11, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Fantastic idea. Full marks. Perfect cycling gradient as Lou points out. And a great opportunity to give both locals and tourists a safe, quiet and bucolic route from Castlemaine to the historic hamlet of Guildford. Count. Me. In.

    • June 15, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      Wonderful idea Lou. Council should get on board. We would ride it regularly for certain.

  • February 14, 2020 at 8:26 am

    To waste a perfectly good railway between Castlemaine and Maryborough that should be upgraded for modern trains, on just a few cyclists, is perfectly ridiculous.

  • September 29, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    I am one of about 14 of us who ride from Castlemaine to Guildford for coffee every Tuesday. We have been active for the last 10 years. I support the idea of a rail trail. It would attract a lot more riders if the plan were to succeed. Riding alongside traffic moving at up to 100km/hr is often not pleasant…especially if they are gravel trucks with dog trailers! Many women would also participate in regular riding if it was away from busy traffic.


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