Puffing Billy Steam Railway is a genuine relic of Victoria’s early rail days. It is Australia’s oldest steam railway and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. Puffing Billy takes passenger through an adventure through the heart of the Dandenong Ranges. The train departs from Belgrave and travels out to Gembrook, which is 13 km away.
Images courtesy of Flickr; taken by Michael Greenhill. Follow this link to check out some of his other amazing photos
Puffing Billy is an icon of the Dandy’s. Cyclists on the weekend may be lucky to see Puffing Billy along the many numerous rail crossings between Belgrave and Gembrook. Its whistle can be heard from miles away. One of the familiar sounds when riding in the Dandenong’s on the weekends.
Emerald Park Lake
There is a ride down to the Emerald Park Lake which is one of those hidden gems in the Dandenong’s. This is arguably the most scenic of all of the stops that Puffing Billy makes. The park is made up of 50 hectares of rolling park lands and has two lakes (Lake Treganowan and Lake Nobelious). There’s a Café and a short scenic loop which you can take around the lake. There is also a great little 1 km climb to get back out from the lake averaging 6% that’s will test your legs. Although it’s a dead end & you have to back-track to get out of there. I always find this a great little scenic detour, and really adds to your ride.
Puffing Billy is a historic steam train which was built to transport goods and passengers throughout the late 1800’s. The train became a financial liability on the Victorian Railways due to landslides along parts of the track. The decision was made to close the line in 1954.
The train line was rescued by the volunteers of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society which was set up to keep the train running. It soon become a tourist railway after re-opening on 28 July 1962 and has become one of Victoria most visited attractions. Carrying over 9 million passengers since it re-opened.
The best part about the Puffing Billy is that it is run mostly by volunteers and the staff take great pride in providing you an experience that is always lasting.
Puffing Billy is one of those icons that if you’re out for a ride and you hear it coming. You’re happy to get off your bike and wait for it to pass, and it’s always great to keep with tradition and wave to all the kids on the train.
When you’re going for a ride in the Dandenong’s, perhaps look up the timetable and time your ride so that you can get to see the Billy.
Here is a link to the Puffing Billy Website here: