Puffing Billy Railway
Old Monbulk Road, Melbourne, Australia
www.puffingbilly.com.au - +61 3 9757-0700
Puffing Billy Railway Melbourne Reviews
Puffing Billy... Choo Choooo... Apr 29, 2008
Melbourne offers a handful of attractions, but what differs Puffing Billy from the rest is the experience to recapture the romance and charm of the bygone days of steam as you enjoy a train three-hour train ride.
Built in 1900, Puffing Billy is Australia's oldest steam railway and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. It runs on its original mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook in the scenic Dandenong Ranges, just 40 km east of Melbourne, Victoria.
With a ride that costs USD33.50 per adult, Puffing Billy promises everyone to experience the beauty of some of the most magnificent countryside that Victoria has to offer as you travel through the beautiful forests and fern gullies.
HOW TO GET THERE:
The easiest way is to take the suburban trains that run frequently from Flinders Street (City) to Belgrave in 70 minutes. The Puffing Billy station is a short walk from the suburban station.
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A relax-sit-back-and-enjoy experience for those who love to be in a forest Dec 12, 2006
Many Australians will consider Puffing Billy as an attraction mainly for kids, because the association with Thomas the Tank Engine (which also rides this track on selected days).
But if you love nature, like panoramic views, need a moment of rest from the busy city life or just love steam trains, you should consider this attraction. It’s a “relax-sit-back-and-enjoy” experience, away from the busy city.
You can get on the train on any of the Puffing Billy stations, but the main station is in Belgrave.
At Belgrave station you’ll find a souvenir shop that also sells some beverages and small snacks. Outside the station building, you will be able to spot many birds like cockatoos, lorikeets, rosellas and kookaburras.
After buying your ticket, you can get go to the platform of your train and get in one of the wagons of the train that’s waiting for departure. These wagons are half-open, meaning that there are no windows, so you can enjoy nature and the views without being separated by glass (also better for taking pictures) Each wagon can carry about 28 people. When you have time before you leave, you can wander around a bit and explore some of the steam trains that are on this station. Some of these trains are about 100 years old. Puffing Billy is more than just an attraction; it’s also a preservation society, restoring old steam and diesel trains and maintaining the tracks.
During the ride you will get trough the forests of the Dandenong ranges and see many nice panoramic views. One of the most nice once is the view across Port Phillip bay, near from Menzies Creek, giving you a view trough the trees at lake Aura Vale and the Cardinia reservoir. The train will take you up and down hills, trough many curves, never knowing what to be seen at the end of the next curve. While riding trough the forest, you’ll sometimes get that “fairy tale feeling”; that a fairy or a gnome can hide behind each tree and can appear any moment.
We went out at Lakeside, Emerald lake. This is a very nice location for a walk. It’s a beautiful, nice and quiet area alongside a lake. Unfortunately we didn’t had enough time to look around a lot here because we first went for a sandwich and a drink, but we were not the only ones, so it took a while before we had our lunches and by the time we’d finished our lunch, it was time to get back to the train for the returning trip to Belgrave.
So when you will visit Puffing Billy, take an early train to get enough time to look around before you have to return to your starting location.
You won’t have to take the same train back as the one you came with, you can take any train back later.
There are several time-tables for Puffing Billy, it varies from day to day, check their website for the time-table on the day you'll visit Puffing Billy. On total fire ban days, Puffing Billy will operate by diesel trains instead of steam locomotives.
Beside a normal trip, you also can choose 3 other types of trips;
- a luncheon ride
- a dinner ride
- and if you can afford $1500.00AUD, you can ride a steam train yourself for the whole day (7 am - 4 pm) under guidance of an experienced railway driver, exclusive for yourself, your friends, family and your guests.
Fares are depending on your destination.
A returning trip for adults can vary between $21.50AUD to $49.00AUD (fares 2008)
Part of the Australia - December 2006 travel blog