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As light rail works its way down Northbourne Avenue, the ACT Heritage Council is reminding Canberrans that rail was always part of the vision for the city.
In a bid to preserve the evidence of the railway laid out by Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin in their 1911 design, the council has provisionally registered Canberra's early railway remnants.
Council chair David Flannery said remnants of tracks at Kingston and tree-lined easements in Reid were some of the only remaining evidence of the system planned for Canberra.
"There was a major railway system proposed as part of the early plans," Mr Flannery told ABC Radio Canberra's Genevieve Jacobs.
"The Griffins and all the competitors for the design competition for Canberra were asked to include a major railway line that traversed across Canberra and came in from Queanbeyan and continued on up to Yass."
Protecting Canberra's storyEarly drawings of Canberra show a railway line crossing over the Molonglo River at the Causeway.
"Drawings show it running through parts of Reid, up through Braddon and onto Yass," Mr Flannery said.
"None of that was ever built, although there was a temporary line that was built around 1921 as well as a bridge across the Molonglo which was destroyed in a major flood only about a year after it was constructed.
"The major railway was never really constructed, but we have left in Canberra some remnants in Kingston near Cunningham Street and also the tree-lined easements in The Causeway and adjacent to Amaroo Street in Reid."
Those remnants are what the heritage council is seeking to protect for future generations.
"What remains is very good evidence of the fact that there was a railway proposed through the middle of Canberra."
Mr Flannery said a smaller rail line constructed from the Yarralumla brickworks to Parliament House also no longer exists.
"The only evidence that is left of it are cuttings and embankments near to the brickworks."
The council has also accepted public nominations to assess the heritage value of the Belconnen Library and the Urambi cooperative housing development in Kambah.
"In the next several months the council will start to investigate the history and the heritage significance of both of those places," Mr Flannery said.
Public consultation on the provisional registration decision for the City Railway Remnants closes on March 13.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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