The first section of the proposed 53-kilometre rail trail between Yeppoon and Rockhampton opened on Australia Day 2014.
The former railway line, constructed in 1909, was mainly used to transport pineapples, but it closed beyond Broadmeadows in 2006 when pineapple transport shifted to road.
The opening of the first 4.5km section from the centre of Yeppoon to the Yeppoon – Rockhampton Road was the culmination of eight years of lobbying, waiting, lobbying and even more waiting. It saw the amalgamation and then de-amalgamation of the local council and the incorporation of the Bicycle Users Group (to gain funding to help in the process of getting a rail trail), and an e-petition with 1122 signatures presented to the government.
The first section of the trail is relatively level and has a high standard asphalt surface.
However, recent damage by Cyclone Marcia has seen some flood damage and this has been repaired.
The trail passes through urban and picturesque bushland settings, and is a valuable recreation and commuting link to get into the centre of town.
It is well used by walkers, runners and cyclists.
Care must be taken while crossing Barmaryee Road due to high traffic.
The trail can be accessed from Braithwaite Street, Yeppoon (parking available), Barmaryee Road, Yeppoon and Putt Street, Barmaryee, as well as Thornbill Ave, off Kingfisher Drive. All accesses have parking available.
Friends of the Rail trail have installed historical interpretive signs at the Braithwaite Street end of the trail. Thanks to Tropical Pines for a $1000 donation and to the Yeppoon Historical Society for its input.
A proposal has been put together to have a further 4 km developed to accommodate Mountain and Hybrid Bikes to Bondoola and Mackays Road.
The 39km from Yeppoon Golf Course to Nerimbera passes through flat bushland initially to Cawarral then becomes more hilly and winding as it passes through Mt Chalmers and Mt Nicholson stations and toward Rockhampton.
The 9.5km from Nerimbera to Rockhampton is still an active railway. An on road path or even a rail side trail beside the railway could be constructed.
There is also strong community support to extend the trail all the way to Rockhampton and join the two communities together.