About the Murchison Rail Trail Project

"The Boxlronbark Trailis a once in a lifetime opportunity for Murchison to open up its unique environment for the whole world to relax in and enjoy.  It is extremely important for regional development, links to gether multiple communities both within and from outside Greater Shepparton, and brings economic, social, cultural and historical benefits to Murchison and Greater Shepparton.

The building of this trail has been discussed, dreamed about and anticipated by the Murchison community for many years now.  The benefits to the community and the wider region, of investingin this project are numerous, long term and tangible"

(Excerpt from Murchison Community Plan Steering Committee Funding Proposal)

The River Road trail that runs along the river in Murchison is constantly used by many people in Murchison and has bought considerable benefit to the community and the region. Now the Murchison community has identified the development of a further trail as one of their highest priorities in the Murchison Community Plan. The perfect location for this trail is along the unused railway reserve from Murchison East Railway Station to Rushworth.

The cost of the Rail Trail project is $240,000 of which $150,000 of funding was received from Regional Development Victoria and remaining $90,000 from the Greater Shepparton City Council.

There has already been significant work completed on the project in 2010 when the Rail Bridge over the Stuart Murray Canal was refurbished to retain its historical character.  Funding from Regional Development Victoria was received and the total cost of the bridge refurbishment was $336,402.

The project is scheduled for completion by the end of June 2014.

Proposed Works

The majority of the old railway line is intact, well-formed and raised above the natural surface, providing an ideal base for a trail. The land is flat with a number of drainage culverts and bridge structures, all in sound condition.

The bridge across the Stuart Murray Canal has been refurbished recently by Greater Shepparton City Council.  The bridge over the Cattanach Canal requires hand rails along its length before it is complete.

The Box Ironbark Trail will incorporate seating/rest areas approximately every kilometre and a parking/picnic area at Gregory Road. We aim to provide informative directional and interpretive signage about the natural, cultural and heritage features to be found on the trail. We plan to do this in conjunction with the Murchison Community Group, and local business identities. We would also like to feature art works such as sculptures along the path, created by local artists.

The Doctors Swamp area is abundant with birdlife. In June 2011 Birdlife Murray Goulburn a member of Birdlife Australia undertook an observation of the bird life in the Doctors Swamp area and identified 66 species of birds.  The Doctors Swamp area is an untapped tourism resource that the Box Iron Bark Trail will open up for people to explore and enjoy.

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History of the Rail Line

The Murchison line being part of the Shepparton to Melbourne line was opened at 6.30am on 15th January 1880. The first train was made up of two passenger carriages, a van and a goods carriage. The first consignment of goods was a load of hides and tallow to Melbourne. Residents of Murchison were not impressed at all when they realised the station would be at Murchison East or over 2km from town.  In January 1888 a survey was completed on the Rushworth line and the line opened on 1st September 1890. The line carried both passengers and freight until it was closed in 1987.

Murchison and Rushworth were once linked by rail. The surviving rail reserve passes eastwest through Murchison approximately 600m south of the town centre and runs adjacent to the Murchison-Rushworth Road as far west as Channel Inlet Road at the boundary of Greater Shepparton City Council. Aproposed short link will provide safe access to trail users who wish to explore Doctor's Swamp, an important local wetland featuring red gums and grey box trees, kangaroos and a multitude of bird-life, including brolgas. The trailis removed from the main Murchison-Rushworthroad, which otherwise constitutes a dangerous disincentive to positive health and lifestyle activities.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this project, please feel free to contact Greater Shepparton City Council.
Phone: 0358329700


Bridge Refurbishment Project


Murchison Rail Trail Heritage Bridge is one of the many bridges on the proposed Murchison Rail Trail. This was a uniquely built bridge as it has double the piers than required compared to all other similar bridges around this area.

The planning of the bridge refurbishment was started with a visual, non-destructive structural analysis and recommendation based on it.  The original recommendation was to replace the entire bridge deck with some of the substructure elements - 4 piles, 10 crossheads and all corroded steel splices. 

The construction was delayed for about one year due to the licensing requirement from GMW.  Construction was started during the off-season irrigation period from 1 June 2010 with the proposed completion on 30 June 2010.  The first stage of dismantling - removal of the existing deck - was carried out immediately after the channel closure for maintenance. The deck was removed out using a crane. The dismantling was straightforward.  The second stage of dismantling - removal of crossheads - was planned to start once the water level dropped to a safe workable level.

When the crossheads were removed the extent of the extreme damage caused by the weather and white ants on a non-maintained timber bridge was revealed. The extent of this extensive damage was a clear sign of destruction on a timber bridge which was left without maintenance for a number of years.

The bridge was completed with the replacement of several additional timber components than originally contracted.


Original contract starting date:31 August 2009Actual works start date:
21 May 2010
Proposed completion date:12 October 2009Actual Completion date30 July 2010


Total amount    $336,402.00 (GST Incl.)


  1. Weathering and white ant activities on timber elements.  Contractor had to procure additional timber components within a short period to allow for the additional works for termite treatment discovered once the deck had been removed.
  2. Short period available of construction.   Due to the irrigation seasons, GMW could only allow a short period for works to be carried out on the bridge.  The Stuart Murray Canal is one of the main canals from Lake Eildon to Waranga Basin.
  3. Channel flooding, twice, due to rainy weather.  There were two floods experienced during the construction period.
  4. Stolen timber
Red gum delivered to site for the timber deck was stolen overnight and then had to be procured again.

News Alert

Watch this space for more information on the upgrade to the Murchison Heritage Centre and the Murchison Box Ironbark Rail Trail - projects funded through Regional Develoment Victoria and the Community Plan Implementation budget from the Greater Shepparton City Council. 

Murchison Community Plan Update

Check out the Murchison and District Community Plan

Has anyone noticed that we now have an ATM at the Gladstone Hotel?The company supplying it are prepared to give it a 3 month trial.The ATM is available during normal pub trading hours.Let’s make it a viable proposition and keep it in Dookie! 

For further information please contact Tim Linton on tlinton@bruck.com.au or telephone: 03 57231132
Monday 10th November - 7.30pm
Front Meeting Room 
Murchison Community Centre
Watson St, Murchison
A General Meeting will be held at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting
For more information ring Karen Winter on 58262751 or 0405350925 or like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/MurchisonActionGroup
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