Puffing Billy Railway
Ride this little world famous, heritage listed train through the Dandenong Ranges. The Puffing Billy is Australia’s oldest surviving and famously preserved steam train.
A favourite way to travel on board the Puffing Billy is to sit on the side of the carriage and dangle your legs, holding onto the safety bar.
The kids love to do this.
Watch the scenery pass you by as you travel through the mountain rainforest, through quaint little mountain villages and past some of the mountain inhabitant's backyards.
Some of these folk will actually greet you as you pass on by. Give them a hearty wave as you continue up the mountainside.
Travel over a 25-kilometer journey taking you through thick forests and lush fern-filled gullies from Belgrave, only one hour east of Melbourne, to Emerald Lake Park and then onto Gembrook.
Puffing Billy History
The Puffing Billy Railway line has been in operation since 1900. In the early days it was used to transport people and goods between Ferntree Gully and Gembrook.
The narrow gauge railway line was used to ferry potatoes, carrots, vegetables, fruit and nursery goods grown in the lush and healthy soil of the Dandenong Mountains.
In the early 1900's saw milling became Gembrook's main industry and the little Steam Locomotive played a major role in this industry's success.
Years later after a couple of landslides a group of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers assembled together to build new bridges and tracks. Melbourne now boasts this world class heritage steam train attraction, the Puffing Billy railway line.
Used by local Melbournians and Tourists alike, this is a ride for all ages to enjoy.
The Puffing Billy now runs from Belgrave all the way up the mountain to the quaint hamlet of Gembrook.
The gardens of the JAC Russell Park adjacent to the Puffing Billy Station make for a great picnic venue.
At each level crossing you will probably find a group of tourists and camera enthusiasts waiting to wave to you as you continue your journey up the mountain.
A fun thing to do is to pop the kids on top the train with an adult then the other party head on up to the first level crossing and wave to your kids, continue doing this till you reach the end of the tracks then on the way back down swap places.
If you are travelling by car along the Burwood Highway before you head up the Mountain call into the Upper Ferntree Gully Tourist Information Centre and check out the mural of the Puffing Billy Railway, meet some of our enthusiastic volunteers and pick up some brochures on everything that there is to see in the area.
Then make your way up the mountain to the Puffing Billy Station at Belgrave. Note there is a domestic terminal and also a specific terminal for Puffing Billy, just watch out for the signs.
Use the map below for directions on how to get to the Puffing Billy Station.
If you are travelling via Wellington Road towards Clematis you can turn left towards Menzies Creek or right towards Emerald Lakeside.
You are able to park near these stations and hop on board the Heritage Steam Locomotive as the train passes through these stations.
There is no parking at the Belgrave Puffing Billy Station however you are able to park at the Connex Trains' carpark and follow the sign-posted walkway under the main road bridge.
Suburban trains run quite frequently from Flinders Street (City) to Belgrave. The journey is a pleasant and comfortable 70 minute ride through the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
Once you reach Belgrave all you need do is follow the signs and walk under the bridge to the Puffing Billy station platform
Check Metlink for time table details.
You may also like to break your journey at Emerald Lake (Lakeside). Enjoy the scenery, stroll the lakeside, try out the paddle boats or visit the Model Railway where you can see the train journey in miniature.
Enjoy a family picnic at the end of the track and relax in Gembrook. There are undercover BBQ facilities, a playground and Skate-Park at the top end of the township.
Another great idea is to combine a ride on the Puffing Billy and enjoy the Gembrook Market, a Handcraft market with a difference.
Held on the 4th Sunday of the month from 9:00am till 3:00pm, meet the locals and clever stall holders who make, bake or grow their own product.
The Puffing Billy Railway operates everyday of the year except Christmas Day. There are somewhere between 2 to 6 services departing from Belgrave every day.
There is one service each day that offers the option of first class carriages and a luncheon.