Leaving Spencer Street station.
Behind the scenes.
The dining carriage.
David takes the train for a dinner date with a difference. Roll out the red carpet and dine in elegance from Spencer Street station to Geelong!
Judy Phelan's fascination with trains helps her run a very successful business she leases the Murray Dining Car, which is part of Victoria's heritage fleet, and each Friday and Saturday, passengers are treated to a three-hour gourmet journey in the fully licensed restaurant.
The car was the original dining car of the Spirit of Progress steam train that travelled the line from Melbourne to Sydney in the 1930s. The elegant dining carriage was withdrawn in 1962 in favour of a buffet car, but has been restored and is still travelling under the name, the Murray Dining Car.
The beechwood carriage and most of the kitchen is as it was in the '30s, but the refurbishment also included red velvet drapes, red carpet and art deco lamps and candles. When set with its beautiful table linen, it is transformed into a wonderfully romantic place.
As you are welcomed aboard at Spencer Street Station for the round trip to Geelong you are given a glass of champagne, which is quite appropriate as most people are celebrating something, or are about to (the gentle surroundings and delicious four-course meals and wine are just right for proposals of marriage).
The train arrives at the historic Geelong Station at about 8.15pm and stays for around 30 minutes, giving diners the chance to stretch their legs. On the return journey to Spencer Street, dessert, coffee and port are served.