BRISBANE VALLEY PIONEERS

Reg McCallum and his friend, the late Kevin Allery, were pioneers in the development of Rail Trails in Queensland, opening the first designated rail trail in Queensland over the Blackbutt Range from Linville to Blackbutt at Linville on 2 June 2006.  


In November Reg accepted a Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation Achievement Award for their efforts. 

On 22 January 2007 the Deputy Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh, announced immediate government funding for three rail trails in Queensland. This concept was developed from the Regional Trails Strategy prepared as a partnership between State and local governments and the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation: Reg and Kevin were both Nanango councillors at this time and had won their QORF award two months before the announcement. Perhaps not surprisingly one of the trails to be funded immediately was the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail that involved, “converting the disused Brisbane Valley Railway into a 140-kilometre recreational trail from Ipswich to Blackbutt”.


This trail was extended from Ipswich to the railway terminus at Yarraman with additional support from the South Burnett and Toowoomba regional councils and from Yarraman to Nanango via the old stock route as a community incentive funded by the Nanango Heritage Bank Community Fund. The signage for the stock route trail was completed by our association and it was opened to the public on 17 August 2019 by the local member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, and Reg McCallum, now aged 92 and described as ‘the ‘Nanango icon’ for the occasion.


Reg McCallum served on the advisory committee for the rail trail’s development and was the inaugural chair of the Ambassadors of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail who maintain the trail in the South Burnett region on behalf of the regional council. Over the rail trail’s lifetime Reg has offered his considerable talents to the many groups who now regularly use the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. His memory of the region over the last 90+ years has also served as the stimulus for most of the interpretive signage along the trail.


Reg presents himself, with some authenticity, as the “Battling Bushie” or perhaps a horseman of considerable repute depending on his audience. Only once in living memory, as far as we can discover, did he wear his Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for visiting royalty and we don’t expect to see it on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail any time soon. We hope to see its recipient, however, for many years to come.

Reg McCallum is a Life Member of Brisbane Valley Heritage Trails and we are privileged to work with him. On behalf of our members and those who derive so much pleasure from the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, we salute a pioneer and join the many Queenslanders who are proud to walk, ride and cycle in his footsteps.


And just to remind the trail users about the achievements of Councillors Reg McCallum and Kevin Allery, signage was erected on the trail on 6 September 2018 after the rail trail had been completed. These signs were prepared by Brisbane Valley Heritage Trails and now stand at the end of their first rail trail adventure (to Blackbutt in 2006) and at Macnamara’s camp, near Benarkin, where there are horse yards and all the facilities for a convenient break in the journey over the Blackbutt range.


But Reg is a hard man to keep up with, even at 92, and by 17 August 2019 this signage was already out-of-date when he and Deb Frecklington M.P. opened the new Link Trail on the old stock route from Yarraman to Nanango. Technically the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail does finish at Yarraman but all its users can now complete the last 25 km to Nanango on this Link Trail and perhaps recall that the surveys had already been completed for the rail line to finish at Nanango had WWI not intervened.

BVRT further information

Official Opening of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail - 2018

The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, or BVRT, is a recreational trail that follows the disused Brisbane Valley rail corridor from Wulkuraka, west of Ipswich, to Yarraman, west of Kilcoy. The 161km trail provides walkers, cyclists and horse riders with a unique opportunity to experience the diverse rural landscape of the Brisbane Valley.  Motor vehicles including motorbikes are not permitted on the trail. 

The "Link Trail" - Yarraman to Kingaroy

The Link trail that connects Yarraman to Kingaroy via Nanango is barely a year old, but it is now about 60 per cent bigger. The growth spurt has come from a 32km course, called the East Nanango Circuit Ride, which allows visiting cyclists, walkers and horse riders to take a scenic detour around Nanango’s countryside.The circuit extends the 55km trail that connects the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail in Yarraman to the South Burnett Rail Trail in Kingaroy.