Right. No more Mr Nice Guy. You computer nerds can try to google this. I doubt it will get you far.


(Clearly Neil has gone off the rails, Dabba.)

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And to show how generous I really am, here's another bit of the scenery, a little bridge I came across (literally and figuratively) during this ride:

There's a bridge very similar to that along the east Gippsland rail trail a few kms short of Orbost, but I don't think that this is it. 

You are correct, Dabba.

In that it isn't.

Actually you were closer with your first guess. But you weren't technically spot-on, didn't seem very confident, nor did you lock in your answer, so I couldn't give you the points. ;-)

It is, in fact, the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail (not Skipton>Ballarat), a track of firm, fine, loose gravel meandering for about 57km between the two places and offering a brilliant, car-free day's outing with a maximum gradient of about 2.8%, unless you take the trestle bridge bypass (in the photo) which has a slope in places closer to 20%.

Below is the scene at the former location of Skipton station, the terminus of the line which opened in 1890 and closed to trains in the mid-'80s. Passenger services, which had closed in 1972, were operated by rail motor which mostly transported the region's school children in and out of Ballarat. Now, of course, they would mostly be driven, though there is, no doubt, a school bus, too.

Tiny Skipton's great claim to fame is as the home town of Victoria's longest serving Premier, Sir Henry Bolte who was in office from 1955 to 1972. He is memorialised by a large bust in the park in the main street.

Interestingly, there are a lot of busts at the other end of the trail, too, in Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Every Australian Prime Minister has one installed there after he leaves office. Even Tony Abbott. The populace often make their feelings about this bust clear, as you can see in this photo sent to me by one local, frequently festooning it with onions and plastering it with messages relating to misogyny. Aah, Straya!

I camped at the sports ground at Skipton when I did it. Great trail, but the day that I did it, I had gale force headwinds and had to crash in a motel at Ballarat to recover. I have no recollection of that lovely trestle bridge though!

That cutting looks like the one near Linton where there is an old ruined bridge across the trail. All that remains of it are the timber supports.

The trestle bridge isn't particularly obvious unless you deviate from the trail. If you were battling into a headwind, all you'd be concerned about is the damned slope up from it in either direction.

Here's a view from the trail across the bridge you might find resonates slightly, though it's taken in the opposite direction to that you were travelling.

One of the best features of the BSRT, I thought, was the amount of shelter from trees it offered in many places. Still, you might think twice about riding it during the day at the height of summer. Fortunately, too, there are several places to get food and drink along the way. I also enjoyed the amount of wildlife along the corridor. Besides many different varieties of birds, I saw wallabies, kangaroos and lizards.

We need some of these trails in NSW. It's a shame that there is such an active anti-trail network of nutters who can't understand that the age of passenger trains on little country lines has ended and that we should move on. They may be the same types who support coal mining and coal-fired power stations...

I have vague recollections of that. I think that I was looking for a place to get some pix of it from one end, but there was nothing easy or obvious, so continued into the gale.

The cutting was probably near the ruined bridge.

There were lots of large thistles with big tyre piercing spikes for the first 5-10k's from Skipton. I had to be careful with the lines that I rode, at least as much as the crosswinds allowed! 

I've recently put a solar power station on my roof with a few batteries in the basement because I was sick of the idiocy from the liarbrels who  idiologically refuse to look at renewables because that's too much like the ALP. Don't care that their attitudes are not in the best interest of the country and the world and out of kilter with most of the rest of the world. 

I can't remember a more incompetent government - even worse than the ALP under Bob Carr!


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