The paper 'Molonglo Rail Trail Project" is a good example of a management case study. The rail-trail is defined by Railtrails Australia as the conversion of a railway that has often been disused into a path that is suited to a number of uses e. g. walking, cycling or even horse-riding (Tourism Victoria, 2014). According to the publication, the use of a rail-trail is much dependent on its surface which further determines its suitability for use by hybrid bikes pram, mountain bikes, four-wheel ‘ gophers’ or even wheelchairs. Over the years, the modification of rail-trails has provided cycling tourists access to some of the most attractive sites especially when traffic snarl-ups are hectic (Steering Committee for Molonglo Rail Trail, 2016).
Characteristically, the committee observes that these long, flat but neglected railways often run through historical areas and are quite appealing for a number of cultural developments. Further, more often than not, a rail-trail closely follows the formation of an originally existing railway line that runs alongside an active railway for the better part of its length. However, Beeton (2009) notes that rail-trails are significantly outstanding when compared to other trails since they are often graded and have a definite history of their own.
The author also supports most scholars who argue that it is better to remove sleepers and rails from former railways and subsequently replace them with bitumen or gravel where better results are to be realized. Further, its often recommended having separate dirt paths along the existing trails to serve as pathways for horse riders. According to the Steering Committee for Molonglo Rail Trail (2016), the government of Australia has already taken note of the immense contribution of these development projects is not only boosting economic growth but in ensuring a healthy population.
It is against this backdrop that the Bungedore communities have proposed to have the neglected railway line from Bungendore to Captains Flat converted into Molonglo Railtrail. Consequently, this research report will serve as a scoping study to help in the preparation of the proposed rail-trail project. Why the Popularity of Rail Trails? A number of reasons have been given for the rising popularity of rail-trails in Australia (Beeton, S., 2010). To begin with, rail trails serve as an invaluable asset especially for visitors who want to enjoy a new feel of life away from the city traffic.
This is especially when coupled with the rare and pleasant experience that comes with undulating landscapes that have already been levelled earlier to accommodate trains that cannot cope with steep gradients. Moreover, the author observes that the facility offers wonderful experiences for people who wish to simply walk or ride bicycles in a safe environment when going to the shops or attending school. The experience is even more fanciful and ideal for families that wish to enjoy the natural scenery or keep fit away from congested urban life.
In addition, the Steering Committee for Molonglo Rail Trail (2016) notes of the immeasurable prestige that comes with the natural heritage corridor. Finally, the committee points out the huge economic benefits that result from the demand for accommodation especially for visitors who intend to camp. This has even prompted some businesses to come up with ingenious ways to cater for visitors demands by hiring bicycles or even for providing pick up services for those who wish to make a one-way visit.
The booming business has seen one of the most popular trails – Murray to the Mountains – offer packages as incentives to the visitors (Statistical Dashboard, 2015).
Beeton, S. (2009). Cycling in Regional Communities: A Longitudinal Study of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, Victoria, Australia, Research Report, La Trobe University, Bundoora
Beeton, S., 2010. Regional Communities & Cycling: The Case Study of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, Victoria. Australia. Research Report, La Trobe University, Bundoora; 2(7), p. 2
Destination NSW, (2015). NSW Visitation International and Domestic Overnight. [Online] Available at http://www.destinationnsw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/NSW-intl-domestic-visitation-infographic-Jun-15.pdf
Faulks, P. & Ritchie, B., 2007. Cycle Tourism in Australia: An Investigation into its size and Scope. CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd, 42(6), p.4.
Mike Halliburton Associate, 2007. Atherton Tablelands Rail Trails Feasibility Study. Queensland Government Shire of Atherton and Shire of Eacham 5(6), p.13
Parliament of New South Wales, (2014). The Upper Molonglo Rail Trail. Parliament of New South Wales. August 14, 2014. [Availablehttp://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au
Puniard, D 2014, ‘Rail Trails in Australia and NZ’, Advertiser 14 October, p.10.
Rail Trails Australia (2006). Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail – Trail Description. [Online] Available at
Railtrails Australia Inc. (2006). Rail Trail Establishment Guidelines! Rail trails Australia Inc. Page 128 Rail Trail Establishment Guidelines rev 11.doc
Statistical Dashboard, 2015, Upper Molonglo Rail Trail Project, Advertiser 5 August, p.3.
Steering Committee for Molonglo Rail Trail, 2016, ‘Molonglo Rail Trail: From Bungendore to Captains Flat’ Advertiser 2 April, p.4.
Tourism Victoria, (2014). Victoria’s Trails Strategy 2014. [Online] Available at https://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/component/edocman