Brisbane Valley Rail Trail
  Queensland's premier rail trail – 150km from Wulkuraka (Ipswich) to Yarraman.

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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

Two-thirds of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is open for use by cylists, hikers and horse riders – 70km between Wanora and Toogoolawah, plus 30km from Moore to Blackbutt.

  • Wulkuraka (Ipswich) to Fernvale (under construction)
  • Fernvale to Lowood (9km)
  • Lowood to Coominya (12km)
  • Coominya to Esk (23.5 km)
  • Esk to Toogoolawah (19km)
  • Toogoolawah to Moore (under construction)
  • Moore to Blackbutt (30km)
  • Blackbutt to Yarraman (under construction)

The trail recycles the Brisbane Valley Railway Line (approved 1882; completed 1913; closed 1989).

The major stations along this line were Brisbane Valley Junction (near presentday Wulkuraka) – Fernvale – Lowood (1884) – Coominya – Esk (1886) – Toogoolawah (1904) – Harlin (1910) – Moore – Linville (1910) – Blackbutt (1912) – Yarraman (1913).

Bus and truck services linked Yarraman at the end of the line to Nanango, Cooyar and Goombungee.

The last thirty years of the twentieth century saw not only the decline in the importance of branch rail lines but also massive increases in the population of greater Brisbane and surrounding areas of South East Queensland.

The last regular Ipswich to Yarraman steam train ran in 1969. In 1988 the rail motor (diesel railcar) service came to an end. In 1993 work commenced on ripping up the track and almost every other reminder that trains once passed this way.

Esk – Toogoolawah : C17 locos Lowood Station
Linville : early C20 Esk–Toogoolawah : mid-C20 Lowood : early C21

Today a few stations survive. Lowood's station and goods warehouse remain in good condition (the latter as a religious centre). Further up the valley, the station buildings at Coominya, Esk, and Toogoolawah have been preserved. Linville's station building and some derelict rolling stock remain at the beginning of the 23km Blackbutt Range section of the trail. Yarraman station is in use as a heritage centre.

The demise of the line coincided with the construction of Wivenhoe Dam on the Brisbane River which would submerge parts of the railway. After a quarter of a century, the dam proved to be inadequate even in good years; there simply isn't enough water in the river to supply Queensland's capital. Blaming the situation on drought rather than overpopulation, the Queensland Government fast-tracked a scheme to pump the city's used water back up the river - the obvious route for the uphill pipeline being the disused rail corridor. Duirng 2007-08 much of the southern section of the rail trail-to-be looked more like a freeway construction site than an abandoned railway. That said, it must be added that when the pipeline construction had been completed the old route looks exactly like an abandoned rail formation desperately wanting to be a rail trail – but this section has yet to be opened.

When complete, the rail trail will provide a 150-kilometre multi-use recreational trail from Ipswich to Yarraman for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Planned for completion a century after the first trains steamed into Yarraman, it will be the longest rail trail in Australia. A similar trail will run south from Ipswich to Boonah.

More Information…

-->E. DeLacy : History of BV Line + Recommendations for Trail (highly recommended)

View Brisbane Valley Rail Trail in a larger map 
Fernvale - Ipswich - Fernvale Rail Trail Ipswich – Fernvale
  • Ipswich (south) – Fernvale (north) : 22 km
  • rough; mountain bikes, walking
  • 5km W of Ipswich CBD
Fernvale - Lowood Rail Trail Fernvale – Lowood
  • Fernvale (east) – Lowood (west) : 9 km
  • smooth compacted surface; all bikes, walking, horse riding, wheelchairs
  • 70km NW of Brisbane CBD
Moore - Blackbutt Rail Trail Moore – Linville
  • Moore (south) – Linville (north) : 7 km
  • some sections extraordinarily steep
  • 135km NW of Brisbane CBD
Linville - Blackbutt Rail Trail Linville – Blackbutt – Nukku
  • Linville (east) – Blackbutt (west) : 23km
  • rough surface; steep gullies; mountain bikes, walking, horse riding
  • 150km NW of Brisbane CBD

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