Bass Coast Rail Trail

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Location:             130km south-east of Melbourne
Start:                    Anderson
Finish:                  Wonthagi
Distance:             16km one way
Surface:               Fine gravel
Difficulty:            Easy
Website:              Click for link

Bass Coast Rail Trail

The Bass Coast Rail trail is a flat, gentle trail.  Which is the only coastal rail trail in Victoria.  The trail offers some truly stunning panoramic views of the Bass Strait.  When you ride across the Bourne Creek Trestle Bridge at Kilcunda.  This is a family friendly trail.  It is appealing to riders of all abilities as the ride across the Kilkunda bridge is one of the best you can do in the state.

Image taken by Paul Bech; courtesy of Flickr

The Bass Coast Rail Trail is is a short trail.  Which meanders through a variety of different terrain such as farmland.  Coastal, bush land, historic coal mining reserves and rugged coastline. The trail follows the old Wonthaggi Train line which opened in 1910 and was used for the transport of coal from Kilcunda to Wonthaggi.  As well as local agricultural produce, as well as for public transport. The line was closed in 1978.

Image taken by Simon Yeo; courtesy of Flickr

Whilst only short.  This is a great trail to ride with the highlight crossing the trestle bridge at Kilkunda.  Offering amazing views of Phillip Island & the Bass Strait. This trail can be ridden by riders of all abilities.

The Bass Coast Rail Trail

Caution

The winds off the Bass Strait can be very strong and I wouldn’t recommend that you attempt this ride on a windy day

History of the Railway

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  The railways depended on black coal to fire its steam locomotives.  A railway line was opened in 1910 with its primary purpose to serve the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine.  The line also provided passenger and general goods services for the region.

Wonthaggi train line. Vallan Studio 1920

This line was originally known as the “Powlett River railway”, and with the mine’s production growing rapidly with its peak in 1926. Producing 2,435 tons of coal per day.  Victorian Railways was its primary customer, buying 90% of its production.  By 1928, twelve return passenger services also ran on the line per week.

The introduction of diesel rail motors in the 1950’s reduced demand for black coal.  Subsequently the mine closed in 1968.  The line eventually closed on 4 December 1977.

Wonthaggi to Anderson Economy return fare
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