Traversing the magnificent Dandenong Ranges, the Puffing Billy Railway is a heritage, narrow gauge railway that stretches between Belgrave and Gembrook Stations. It was built at the turn of the 20th century in a bid to develop the rural areas on the outskirts of Melbourne, with the Victorian capital situated just 40 kilometers away.The Puffing Billy Railway takes passengers through lush fern gullies and towering Mountain Ash trees, as well as over the historic Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge. Soak up the vistas of rolling green hills towards the Dandenong Ranges, with views all the way to Port Phillip Bay.
Most passengers opt to board in Belgrave and disembark at Lakeside where there’s a playground and picnic tables on the banks of Emerald Lake. Belgrave is the main hub for the railway and where tickets can be purchased, although you can buy tickets from the conductor aboard the train.
Couples can indulge in a lunch railway experience within the First Class dining carriage, while families can join in the fun on the “Day Out With Thomas” and “Santa Special” events. The Puffing Billy railway also hosts “Dine and Dance” nights and “Murder Mystery” dinners.
Today the Puffing Billy Railway owns all remaining narrow gauge locomotives from the former Victorian Railways and have lovingly restored them to their original condition. The aim is to preserve the railway line to its condition during the first three decades of its existence in the hope that future generations can experience this fascinating part of Victoria’s history.