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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Rail Trail Local Government Grants program

Queensland has an extensive network of disused railway corridors owned by the state and local governments.

Developing rail trails on disused railway corridors allows local communities and visitors to use them for walking, bike riding and/or horse riding. Rail trails support active, healthy lifestyles and contribute to environmental preservation and management. They also create diversity in local economies and encourage the growth and creation of small businesses in hospitality and tourism sectors.

The Queensland Government is investing up to $14 million over 4 years between 2017-18 to 2020-21 to support local governments to plan, design and construct rail trails. The Department of Transport and Main Roads is responsible for administering the Rail Trail Local Government Grants program on behalf of the Queensland Government.

The program responds to community feedback received during development of the Queensland Cycling Strategy 2017-2027 highlighting the opportunity provided by rail trails to increase cycling participation, encourage tourism and boost regional economies. The program is listed as Action 4.1 in the Queensland Cycling Action Plan 2020–22.

Community interest in recreational, nature-based trails such as rail trails has been highlighted more recently during engagement for the Queensland Walking Strategy (QWS). To find out more information on the QWS visit: 

Program objectives

The objective of the Rail Trail Grants Local Government Grants program is to support the planning and delivery of recreational bike riding, walking and horse trails on disused state and local government owned rail corridors. The program addresses: 

  • health and wellbeing
  • community and economic development
  • use of vacant state- and local government-owned land and disused infrastructure assets
  • environmental protection and management.

How to apply

Local government organisations can find out more information about the program, including eligible trails, by contacting

Not all rail corridors are suitable for development as rail trails due to factors such as remoteness, poor condition, or incompatible other uses like heritage railways or commercial agreements.

Last updated 08 May 2023