The Puffing Billy steam train is a symbol of Victoria's Dandenongs. It runs from Belgrave through Emerald to the Lakeside station and back a 26 km journey. It sometimes continues to Gembrook making the return trip 48 kms.
The train choofs along every day except for Christmas Day and leaves the Puffing Billy Station on the Old Monbulk Road. Passengers can get on and off at any of the three stations. Numbers and times of departures vary seasonally, with more on weekends and public holidays.
There are special night trains and the luncheon special which departs Belgrave at midday. It offers the choice of first class travel in the dining carriage to Emerald.
The Puffing Billy Steam Museum is behind the Menzies Creek station. It has a collection of Australian and international narrow-gauge locomotives, rolling stock and steam machinery. Passengers may break their journey there to visit the Museum and continue or return on a later train.
Picnic and barbecue facilities are available and the tearooms at the station are open for all trains.
The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Railway first opened on December 18, 1900. A landslide caused its closure until volunteers began the work of fund-raising and rebuilding. Menzies Creek was reached in 1962, Emerald Town in 1965, Emerald Lake Park in 1975 and Gembrook in 1998.
If you've ever wanted to drive a 120 year old steam locomotive, here's your chance. The Footplate Experience allows visitors to take the good ol' 861 locomotive along a winding, steeply graded narrow-gauge railway, between Emerald and Cockatoo.
You don't need experience just be over 21 years of age. You will have exclusive use of the locomotive for the day, under the expert supervision of an experienced driver. You will light the fire, lubricate the locomotive, learn how to raise steam and operate the Westinghouse brakes, before spending a wonderful time firing and driving over the challenging route.
Take your friends and family for the fun.
Belgrave, an hour's drive east of Melbourne.
Belgrave to Lakeside return - Adult $42, Child $21 and Family (two adults and up to four children) $85. Belgrave to Gembrook return - Adult $56, Child $28 and Family (two adults and up to four children) $113. The Footplate Experience costs $1500.
Virgin Blue has flights to Melbourne.
From One-way fare
Adelaide $ 95
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one-way on the net. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at, February , 2007 and are subject to change.
Throughout the year, Puffing Billy’s Dinner Special operates theme nights. Nights such as Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and “Jingle Bells” in June and July are very popular. Many other theme nights can also be arranged to suit your needs.
Prices quoted are correct at February 22, 2007.
Puffing Billy Railway
Old Monbulk Road
Ph: (03) 9754 6800
Fax: (03) 9754 2513
Timetable Info: 1900 937 069
Ph: 13 6789