It’s no secret that WA is big. Due to its size, thousands upon thousands of kilometres of rail have been laid, spider-webbing all over the state.
For various reasons, some of the lines have been removed but that doesn’t mean they’ve been forgotten.
Rail trails take abandoned or disused railway corridors and transform them into shared-use paths that are popular with walkers, joggers, cyclists and horse riders.
WA has a great collection of these trails and we’ve tracked down some of the more interesting ones, perfect for an enjoyable solo or group outing.
For more information, visit Rail Trails.
What: Railway Reserve Heritage Track
Where: Bellevue to Wooroloo (41km, can be done in sections). Retraces the old Eastern Railway and is entirely on railway formations. Suggested start: John Forrest National Park or Sculpture Park, Mundaring.
Feature: Swan View tunnel in John Forrest National Park.
What: Mundaring Weir Rail Trail
Where: Mundaring to Mundaring Weir (7km), following the route of a branch railway which ran to the weir between 1898 and 1952. Starts: Sculpture Park, Mundaring.
Feature: The golden pipeline, the longest freshwater pipeline in the world.
What: Kalamunda Railway Heritage Track
Where: Gooseberry Hill to Pickering Brook (16km). Follows alignment of the Upper Darling Range railway, which ran from Midland to Karragullen and closed in 1949. Starts: Quenda Creek Reserve (corner of Gooseberry Hill Road and Williams Street), Gooseberry Hill.
Feature: A zig-zag formation which allowed trains to climb the steep grades of the Darling escarpment.
What: Jarrahdale Balmoral Trail
Where: Jarrahdale to old POW Camp (11km). Follows former tramway to the Balmoral camp. Railway sleepers still remain in parts. Start: POW Camp on Balmoral Rd, Jarrahdale.
Feature: The camp ruins, where WWII prisoners of war (mostly Italians) were held.
What: Jarrahdale 1872 Timber Tramway
Where: Jarrahdale to South West Highway (8km). Follows original 1872 timber tramway and passes disused bauxite railway. Start: Corner Nettleton Road and Jarrahdale Road.
Feature: Trail includes a number of box drains under the rail track made entirely of jarrah sleepers that have survived since the railway was built.
Credit - Jessica Nico
Swan View Tunnel in John Forrest National Park (courtesy of Department of Parks and Wildlife)
Swan View tunnel as it was in 1896 (Courtesy of the State Library)
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