Who’s seen those railway maintenance creatures at work on the tracks? They look like gigantic mechanical beetles, with an unsettling number of wheels and arms and bits and pieces sticking out everywhere, and names like ‘Octopus’ and ‘Platypus’. Well, those extraordinary machines are an essential part of our rail system. Howell Rail, proudly based in Avoca, maintains a whole herd of them. It’s been putting tracks together for nearly 50 years.


Hopkins Fall, Warrnambool, VIC


Howell Rail doesn’t only help keep regional areas connected through its core business, it also gives back to the environment. Most recently it has partnered with Fifteen Trees to plant 660 trees at Hopkins Falls, Warrnambool, VIC.


A resident of Hopkin Falls.





Hopkins Falls, for those who haven’t visited, is the largest waterfall on the Hopkins River. It is a staggering 90 metres wide, and spectacular in all seasons. In winter you might even be lucky enough to see the baby eels setting out on their annual migration.


The Howell Rail trees were planted by volunteers from Hopkins Falls Landcare Group, with the majority being placed around the main viewing area. Like most popular natural attractions, a balance must be struck between ease of access and preservation of the local environment. The remainder of the trees have gone further upstream to increase habitat for native fauna, including the local koalas.


As we know, everything is connected in some way – yes, even railway work, extreme machines, and koalas! It’s all part of life as we know it. We love to see regional businesses like Howell Rail contributing to revegetation projects while reducing their own carbon emissions.






Thank you to Anna, Kerry, Jay and Ash and entire the team behind Howell Rail for your generous support of our revegetation projects across Australia. If you would like to also support our revegetation projects, please contact Melinda <banksia@15trees.com.au>


Article by Sarah Hart

Sarah is an artist whose passions include the stories and experiences of women and narrative driven creative work. Her aim is to delight, to reveal glimpses of everyday beauty, and to celebrate flights of the ordinary. Sarah works across a range of media, with an abiding interest in pen and ink, mixed media and the human form. You can find more of Sarah’s work here.