Yarra Valley Rail Trail Extension

Yarra Valley Rail Trail Extension bike resting against tree

Feasibility Study and Master Plan

The Yarra Ranges Council engaged with Cox Architecture in partnership with Anthony Burton & Associates to engage with the community and write a feasibility study and master plan for the staged construction of an extension to the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail. This extension adds over 40km of rail trail and joins the towns of Yarra Glen and Healesville to the existing rail trail.

The role of Anthony Burton & Associates in the process included:

  • A functional analysis of the project
  • Community Engagement
  • Route Planning and Advice
  • Tourism Analysis

Staged Approach

The team identified the development of a three staged approach to construction.

Stage 1 via the Lilydale to Yarra Glen within the railway reserve. Stage 2 to Healesville within the railway reserve and in private property. Stage 3 to Woori Yallock using the Yarra River reserve and the Coranderrk Aqueduct.

Community Engagement

Anthony Burton & Associates and Cox Architecture organised and managed the consultation process to support the client team navigate through polarized community views on about the project.

The project had a number of significant challenges that the team needed to overcome including:

  • Interaction between users and the heritage railway
  • Biosecurity
  • Working with the utility providers (such as Melbourne Water)
  • Land tenure issues and engagement with local land holders

Tourism Analysis

Anthony Burton & Associates undertook a complete review of the visitor profile to build the case for investment in the rail trail. This work identified a strong return on investment and the that the users of the rail trail are high value tourists:

  • highly educated;
  • employed as professionals or managers;
  • earn above the average wage;
  • travel with groups or families; and
  • virtually all of them use the ‘internet’ to find information about their last cycle tourism holiday.

The masterplan considers all aspects of the new trail and economic positioning of the Yarra Valley as Australia’s leading Cycle Destination.