News

Ned Kelly site to remain unaltered

By Simon Ruppert

Plans to alter parts of Glenrowan train Station for the Inland Rail Project have been shelved thanks to local lobbyists.

The Glenrowan Improvers have been fighting to save the culturally significant site from any major alterations after the ARTC-submitted plans to lower the rail line.

With double-stacked trains set to begin using the route, between Melbourne and Brisbane, by 2025 every low bridge on the north-east line needs to be altered.

This photo was taken on the morning of the Ned Kelly siege in 1880.
The Glenrowan Improvers recreated the famous photo earlier this year to highlight the historical significance of Glenrowan Station.

The two main methods of alteration will be replacing bridges or lowering the track beneath them.

Improvers member Terry Kay said when the group learned the ARTC had floated the idea of making changes to Glenrowan station they mobilised the community and made plans to convince them to rethink the idea.

"We were told the ARTC wanted to dig a trench and lower the track, so that the trains could fit under the existing bridge," Mr Kay said.

"That platform and station hasn't changed since the time of Ned Kelly."

Deceased bushranger-turned tourist attraction Ned Kelly is an infamous character in the town's past and his connection to the station, in that he planned to derail a train there, is well-known.

It is also the reason it has a heritage listing, which was the basis of the Improvers argument.

Historic bread cart restored for Glenrowan collector

The group had a meeting with the ARTC last Tuesday where they were given the good news that lowering the track was no longer an option.

"They (the ARTC) have given us a preliminary sketches of a replacement bridge near the existing one on Beaconsfield parade," Mr Kay said.

"We still don’t think that’s the best answer as its still on the heritage site, but at least they are not digging the trench.

"We still want to see if we can convince them to put the new bridge somewhere else, so the heavy traffic doesn't go past the school any more."

That point is another reason the group was objecting.

The current bridge is dated and B-Double trucks share it with Primary School children - with no safety barrier between the two.

Lobby group to protest alterations to Benalla Rail Bridge

And regardless of the Inland Rail Project, local people already wanted an alternative route for heavy vehicles to use.

Mr Kay said the Improvers were feeling positive about the situation and confident the ARTC would work with them further to find the best solution.

"We will discuss what to do next at our next meeting," Mr Kay said

"It is good that they (the ARTC) are now thinking like we’re thinking.

"We’ll have another meeting in a fortnight and make some plans."

ARTC general manager projects Victoria Ed Walker confirmed new plans were being drawn up following community consultation.

‘‘(We) can advise that we will no longer be progressing with designs for a track lowering to accommodate double-stacked trains under the Beaconsfield Pde bridge,’’ Mr Walker said.

‘‘Feedback is now being sought on designs for a new bridge to be built to the west of the existing bridge, partially within the Commonwealth heritage area.

‘‘A community information session will be held on Wednesday, August 21, from 4pm to 6pm at Glenrowan Primary School and we encourage members of the community to come along and find out more about the project and provide us with their feedback.’’

You can also contact ARTC by emailing [email protected] by phoning 1800 732 761 or by visiting Inlandrail.com.au to access a feedback form or register for the Community Feedback Panel.