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About BVRT

About the trail

The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, or BVRT, is a off-road adventure trail that follows the disused Brisbane Valley rail line from Wulkuraka, west of Ipswich, to Yarraman, west of Kilcoy. The BVRT provides walkers, bike riders and horse riders with a unique opportunity to experience the diverse rural landscape of the Brisbane Valley mixed with heritage-listed and historic sites while passing through some of Queensland's most unique country towns. With the final link between Toogoolawah and Moore completed in 2018, the BVRT is the longest rail trail in Australia, spanning 161 kilometres. Most of the trail is now an excellent compounded gravel grading that provides a relatively smooth run, although there is the odd rocky section and you should always remain vigilant on rougher areas. Bikes, hybrid or mountain bikes are most suitable—road bikes are not recommended. The section from Linville to Benarkin has a rough gravel surface with some rocky sections. From Linville to Blackbutt, the trail gradually rises through the Blackbutt Range, with a number of creek crossings that are moderately steep.

A bicycle rider on a plain, surrounded by trees with cloudy sky and water visible below
 

History of the Brisbane Valley rail line

The Brisbane Valley rail line was a branch line from the Brisbane-Toowoomba rail line designed to access timber resources from the Brisbane River Valley. In June 1884, the first section from Brisbane Valley Junction (later Wulkuraka) to its terminus at Lowood was officially opened. The second section of the branch line, from Lowood to Esk, opened in 1886.

The railway from Esk to Moorabool (later Kannangur then Yimbun) was developed in 1904. In 1908, the extension to Blackbutt was approved and work commenced that same year before Harlin, Moore and Linville opened in 1910.

In 1911, the railway was again extended from Linville up the Blackbutt range (Blackbutt and Benarkin) to allow for large consignments of timber from the range to local and Brisbane mills. In May 1913, the final section to Yarraman was completed with the branch line running up until it was closed 76 years later in 1989.

Removal of the rail line commenced in 1993 with many of the old station buildings either removed, used on other lines or sold off. The only ones that remain within their districts are Yarraman, Linville, Toogoolawah, Esk, Coominya and Lowood.

A sepia photo of people gathering at a train, with a sign that says 'Arrival of first train at Linville
 

Major BVRT projects

Lockyer Creek Railway Bridge Rehabilitation Project

In 2018, the department commenced major rehabilitation works to the Queensland heritage-listed Lockyer Creek Railway Bridge, located on the BVRT between Lowood and Coominya, due to the poor condition of the bridge.

The project involved replacing all of the timber components and abrasive blasting and repainting of the steel truss. A new pedestrian/cyclist walkway has also been installed on the bridge which has been designed to increase the safety of trail users and deliver an important all-weather crossing across Lockyer Creek. 

The restoration of timber bridges, particularly those of heritage significance, is becoming increasingly rare so this project has been a major achievement for the department. It took:

  • over 8500 labour hours to complete
  • 1200 metres of hardwood timber to replace the timber components
  • 4400 tonne of road base and rock fill to build the crane pad
  • 4300 rivets, 946 bolts, 1892 washers and 840 litres of paint to restore the steel truss. 

The bridge is now open for use and is a major feature of the BVRT being one of only 2 heritage-listed structures on the trail along with the Yimbun Railway Tunnel near Harlin.

Trail management

TMR is the state agency responsible for the day-to-day management and maintenance of the BVRT in conjunction with Ipswich City, Somerset, South Burnett and Toowoomba Regional Councils, and the Ambassadors of the BVRT.

In April 2021, TMR released the first five-year Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Strategic Plan, which provides a fundamental blueprint for the future management and ongoing development of the BVRT into Australia's greatest rail trail. To find out more detail, download the Strategic Plan

Seqwater’s network pipeline traverses the BVRT between Pine Mountain and Coominya. TMR has partnered with Seqwater in an effort to better maintain the trail along this section with the bulk water supplier providing funding towards land management costs, including slashing and weed control.   

Any maintenance requests or concerns regarding management of the BVRT should be directed to TMR in the first instance.

 
  • The trail offers sections that are perfect for individuals, groups and families with wheelchair accessibility where assistance may be required. Learn more about the towns the trail runs through, distances from town to town, sites of interest and organise the perfect trip for you.

    Download a trail map      
  • Explore through some of Queensland’s most unique country towns with a wide range of heritage-listed buildings, historic remains, galleries and attractions adding incredible variety to your BVRT adventure.

    Find nearby attractions

Plan your trip now!