Puffing Billy Railway Riding on Australian History
Puffing Billy is a steam engine train that was originally built in 1900 to allow the more remote areas of Australia to be open for settlers.
Now it is used as a tourist attraction.
Have you ever yearned for a leisurely scenic journey through panoramic mountain vistas?
Australias oldest steam train will treat you to spectacular scenery from rainforests to lovely cultivated farmland.
Let your legs dangle over the windows of the open train carriage while experiencing the thrill of hearing that steam whistle cry.
Puffing Billy Back In The Days...
City folks used to ride the train into the Dandenong Ranges during the holiday season to escape the hectic city. But as roads began to be constructed, the little train was used less and less. Finally, after a landslide in the 1950s the railway was closed. But the line reopened in 1962, thanks to the help of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society. The Society maintains the Railway and many volunteers keep the whole experience authentic.
Puffing Billy General Information
Puffing Billy takes you back to the time of steam engines and railway travel. Running every single day except for Christmas day, the train leaves from the Puffing Billy Station in Belgrave and carries you through the Dandenong Ranges, past Emerald where you can still see the remnants of an old gold-mining town, and stopping at Emerald Lake Park, which is home to two beautiful lakes and relaxing park settings. That trip is 26 km long.
You can continue your journey onto Gembrook, which makes the whole return trip 48 km. You can leave the train at any of the 3 stations and spend a few hours exploring at Emerald Lake Park or historic Gembrook. Check out time tables etc. on http://www.puffingbilly.com.au.
Really like to add to your experience? Then why not try one of the Special Trains?
The Steam and Cuisine luncheon train runs every day except Christmas. It leaves Belgrave at 11:30 am and steams into Gembrook two hours later. You can catch the complimentary bus back to Belgrave from Gembrook. Or try the Devonshire Journey. This ride will treat to scones and afternoon tea.
Puffing Billy Railway offers Dinner Specials on Friday and Saturday nights, where you can wine and dine as you enjoy your historic ride. Train lovers can even charter dates for their weddings! The Dinner Special operates other theme nights throughout the year, too, on Valentines Day, Halloween, and "Jingle Bells" in June and July. Due to growing popularity of the TV series there are now also special Thomas The Tank Engine Days on which Puffing Billy gets changed into Thomas. A very special experience for your little boy or girl if they happen to be big Thomas fans!
For any of these Special Trains, make sure to book your seats early, since these are very popular and fill up fast.
A real die-hard steam locomotive lover? Then just riding Puffing Billy may not be enough so why not really experience the train by driving it? The Footplate Experience will place you in the drivers seat for the whole day, under the watchful and helpful supervision of an experienced driver. You get to stoke the fire, raise the steam, and learn how to use the brakes. Then youre off and running, driving over timber trestle bridges, through wild forestland and sweeping wine country.
Whether youre still a kid, or are a kid at heart, a ride on Puffing Billy is a treat that your whole family will love.
On colder days, make sure you dress up warm enough. The olden day trains are not really insulated and some of the carriages are completely open. I guess, just something to be aware of.
But that shouldn't stop you from coming for a great family outing and experiencing a bit of Australias history!