The Puffing Billy railway is a delight for the people who love travelling is train. This is the favorite steam train of Australia. It is the finest and one of the most popular preserved steam railways in the whole world. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia. Every person who travels in this train loves the experience and has quite a fun throughout the journey.
Puffing Billy by Ralf 69 / CC BY-SA 3.0
The railway is 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) and is a narrow gauge railway. The train runs from the Belgrave station and travels a distance 24 km (15 miles) to reach its destination, i.e., Gembrook. It takes just 2 hours to complete the whole journey and is the best way to explore the magnificent Dandenong Ranges.
Location of Puffing Billy Railway
The railway is in the Dandenong Ranges, 40 kms from Melbourne in Australia. It runs from Belgrave to Gembrook in the majestic Dandenong Ranges.
History of Puffing Billy Railway
The railway opened on December 18, 1900. Until the year 1953, the train used to run over 18.2 miles (29km) between the Upper Ferntree Gully and Gembrook. An unfortunate incident happened in the year 1953, a landslide that blocked the railway track resulting in the closure of the track in the following year.
Due to the enormous public and interest, a society was formed, The Puffing BIlly Preservation Society. The volunteers of the society by- passed the landslide with the help of Victorian State Government and Citizens’ Military Forces. The railway was then reopened. The track to Menzies Creek was reopened in the year 1962, to Emerald in the year 1965, to Lakeside in the year 1975 and to Gembrook in October 1998.
- Belgrave Station- This is the headquarter of the railway. The train runs from here. The station houses a refreshment room from where you can buy souvenirs, beverages and food. The Belgrave Township which is just a short walk away has many shopping and dining options.
- Menzies Creek Station- This is the first stop from Belgrave station. The station borrowed its name from a miner who worked in that area. It is situated in School Road, Menzies Creek
Menzies Creek Station by Sumanah / CC BY-SA 3.0
- Emrald Creek – The highest station on the whole track is the Emerald Creek. The station has cafes, shops as well as bakeries. Picnic facility is also present in the station.
- Lakeside Station- It is situated at the Emerald Lake Park, Emerald. You can reach this station through Emerald Lake Road which further leads to Emerald Lake Park. The Lakeside is quite popular among the families. There are BBQ facilities, paddle boats, playground, wading pool as well as picnic tables at the lakeside. At the station you can get food, beverages and souvenirs.
- Cockatoo Station- The original name of the station was Cockatoo Creek and was the place where timber from sawmills was loaded. Potatoes were also loaded.
- Gembrook Station – It is situated off Main Road in Gembrook. It is the last station. Take a walk in the town and the Avenue of Honour. In the township there are many dining options. The station provides picnic facility. You can also head to the adjacent park for this. The station also has refreshment room for souvenirs, beverages and food. The train stops for an hour at the station giving the passengers an opportunity to see the town.
Traveling in the train in itself is a very great experience. Soaking in the views of the beautiful Dandenong Ranges is amazing.