Campaign to open historic rail trail for cyclists goes online

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Pedal Power ACT is backing a local campaign to open up the scenic Bungendore to Captains Flat disused rail line for cyclists to enjoy – and is calling for members to add their voice.

The 36km stretch runs from the popular visitor town of Bungendore, near Canberra, to the historic mining town of Captains Flat and much of it follows the Molonglo River. The rail line itself only operated from 1940 to 1968, although in 1969 it was used during the making of the original ‘Ned Kelly’ movie.

Tom Dwyer, who works in Civic, is co-ordinating the campaign to reopen the trail and has set up an online petition at this link. He is urging Pedal Power members to sign up to the petition, saying “We are still at an embryonic stage but if Pedal power members could help in ANY way it would be greatly appreciated, I’m sure members would love to ride the trail when we get it completed. We really require a groundswell of support and I hope that you can help in that regard.”

Jeff Ibbotson, Vice President of Pedal Power ACT and long-time Rail Trail advocate backed Tom’s call, adding: “Pedal Power has long supported the development of rail trails in NSW. As well as organising bike rides each week in Canberra, our members regularly organise trips away. We have made several trips to Victorian rail trails. For example, some 80 members travelled to Beechwood in May for 5 days of cycling on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.

“The potential Bungendore to Captain Flat rail trail has a lot going for it. It’s close to Canberra where over twenty per cent of the population have ridden a bike in the last four weeks. Bungendore is well serviced with cafés, art gallery and the wood works. Captains Flat has its mining heritage and a nice pub. There are potential extension rides in the area, such as to Lowden Forest Park.

“All in all there is great potential for Pedal Power to organise rides based on this rail corridor and for families and individuals to do likewise, thereby preserving some of the area’s history and enabling the enhancement of facilities for locals and visitors alike.”

Pedal Power members can show their support for this campaign by signing the online petition at this link. More information can be found on the campaign’s Facebook page.

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