Firstly, we acknowledge the Wakka Wakka people as the custodians of the land upon which the South Burnett Express Rail Trail Relay is held on.
The South Burnett Express Rail Trail Relay is an annual event hosted by the Ashgrove Rangers Athletics Club. Long distance road relays were a main fixture in QLD many years ago, however due to distances, insurance costs and increased traffic they were hard to organise and manage the risk. We decided it was time to reignite the passion for team-based running and decided on the spectacular South Burnett Rail Trail as the perfect spot.
Originally called the Nanango railway line, it connected the region to Brisbane and helped spur settlements including Kingaroy. Early sections were developed in the late 1800s to transport gold and copper, but used later for transporting goods and passengers. From the 1960s its use declined due to improvements in roads and was then mainly used by the Peanut Company of Australia. The line was eventually closed in 2011 and decommissioned in 2014 with the removal of track and some bridges. With assistance from the State Government, the South Burnett Regional Council developed the line into a purpose built Rail Trail which was opened in October 2017.
The Rail Trail is sealed, well maintained and has only a handful of road crossings making it perfect for a running event like this. The influx of runners for the weekend not only supports the local economy and promotes the region, it brings together in a social setting a diverse group of people who share a common interest.
The inaugural South Burnett Rail Trail Relay was held in October 2021 to much acclaim. The feedback from runners was overwhelmingly positive – they loved the concept. So… we decided this needs to be an annual fixture on the running calendar.
So who are we? The Ashgrove Rangers Athletics Club is the group behind the event. We are a not-for-profit club whose goal is get as many people active as possible. Any money raised from the race will be re-invested into next year’s event, purchase club training equipment and support our athletes, many of whom travel long distances to compete at the national level.
We would like to thank the South Burnett Regional Council and our major sponsor Ballistic Beer Co for supporting us. In the fullness of time we hope to see the South Burnett Express Rail Trail Relay as a must do running event in QLD !