Tallangatta Rail Trail Action Group is closer than ever to completing restoration of the Dry Forest Creek Trestle bridge, thanks to the Puffing Billy Preservation Society’s generous pitching-in on the job. Society railway enthusiasts led a week-long working bee in May, wrestling huge piers and beams into the massive trestle structure at Bullioh.
The restoration of Dry Forest Creek bridge has been a project spanning years. It has involved an intrepid and dedicated restoration team, happy to combine precision engineering with DIY components and a lot of plain hard work. They have been hand crafting enormous trestles and placing them precisely into the banks of Dry Forest Creek, restoring the Dry Forest Creek trestle bridge.
The restoration project required demolition of the old white-ant damaged structure and construction of new trestles and infrastructure to bring the bridge back into use on the Tallangatta Rail Trail. The reconstruction work uses reclaimed materials including the original bridge steel, Bluegum posts from nearby forest coups, and milled local Redgum timber. The construction involves both modern equipment- chainsaw and Lucas mill – as well as old tools including broad axe and adze. The pier and cross-head trestles are put together and braced individually on the ground, then lifted into position and bolted onto new concrete footings.
Dry Forest Creek Bridge will be the 4th bridge reconstructed on the rail trail, and it’s completion will mean the removal of the biggest obstacle to completing the trail. Edgars Rd, Darbyshire and Peterkins bridges have already been restored. Thanks to this most recent working bee there are now only two spans to complete!
The project is supported by railtrail volunteers, local farmers, and rail and bridge enthusiasts. It has attracted volunteers from far and wide, as hands on experience in the craft of restoring these types of timber bridges is hard to come by.
More timber needs to be milled so that the decking can be installed, but most volunteers are taking a break and heading north to escape the winter cold… To be continued!