Puffing Billy Railway travels between Belgrave and Gembrook in the scenic Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. Below you can find out more about the townships and landmarks the railway travels past on its journey.
To read about the Puffing Billy Journey in a selection of other languages, click here.
This station is the headquarters of the Railway, with both operating and administrative facilities. Most Puffing Billy trains commence their journeys here.
Visit the refreshment room for souvenirs, food and beverages. Our Locomotive Running Shed & Workshop is where storage, maintenance and restorations take place on the Puffing Billy family of locomotives. The Belgrave township is only a short walk away and has an abundance of shopping and dining options.
Rail distance from Melbourne:
41.8km (26 miles).
Altitude 227.7m (747 feet).
2. Locomotive Depot
On departure from Belgrave station, the locomotive running shed and workshops may be seen to the left of the train. Extensive servicing and repair facilities provide for continuous maintenance and restoration.
3. Sherbrooke Forest
The southern reaches of the forest extend to the Puffing Billy track on the left of the train and to the area beside the Trestle Bridge. The forest has many magnificent examples of the native ‘Mountain Ash’ trees, a form of eucalypt and the tallest flowering plant in the world.
4. Trestle Bridge
This famous timber bridge of 15 spans, now classified by the National Trust of Victoria, carries the Railway over Monbulk Creek and the main Gembrook Road. It is 91.4m (300 feet) long, 12.8m (42 feet) high. The car park below is a popular place for viewing and photographing the train.
Opened in 1904, the station on the left served the nearby village, named after a local landowner.
A landslide closed the Railway in 1953. A remnant of the old track may be seen to the left of the train. Before the line was closed, a water tank for the locomotives was located here.
An extensive view to Port Phillip Bay is to be seen to the right of the train on the approach to Menzies Creek.
8. MENZIES CREEK
Named after an early miner who worked in the area. Menzies Creek is the first stop after Belgrave and destination for many tour groups.Trains in opposite directions often ‘cross’ here. As Puffing Billy is a single rail line, it is only at stations such as Menzies Creek, where you can view trains pass by.
6km (3.75 miles) from Belgrave.
Altitude 303.6 m (996 feet). Toilets are provided at the station.
9. Steam Museum
Adjacent to Menzies Creek station, the Steam Museum houses a unique collection of locomotives, rolling stock, steam machinery and other rare items from the 'steam era' of bygone years. The Steam Museum is currently closed for redevelopment and will re-open at a later date after works are completed.
On a clear day, extensive views to Port Phillip Bay, Arthurs Seat and Westernport may be seen to the right of the train. Also on the right and below is the Cardinia Reservoir, which provides water to the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
After crossing the Main Road, the train enters Paradise Valley, with pleasant farmland views. Kiwi fruit are grown on the vine plantation to the left of the train near Clematis station.
Originally named ‘Paradise’, this is a typical country wayside station. Above the station, on the right hand side, is the Paradise Hotel, a popular venue for dining and watching the trains pass by.
13. Steep Grade
This is one of the steepest grades on the line, rising one metre every 30 metres (one foot in 30 feet) for approximately 1.6 km (1 mile) to Emerald.
14. EMERALD (Township)
This is the highest station on the line. This is also the venue for the popular 'Day Out With Thomas’ events.
The station building is the only original station building that remains intact along the line.
Emerald offers shops, cafes and bakeries. On the third Sunday of every month, a trip aboard the train to Emerald can be combined with a visit to the Emerald Market.
In the yard is the Railway’s carriage repair workshop. Picnic and toilet facilities may be found at the station.
9.7km (6 miles) from Belgrave.
Altitude 318.5m (1045 feet).
Pleasant views over rolling farmland may be seen after leaving Emerald township.
16. NOBELIUS SIDING
The siding and Packing Shed on the left of the train formerly served the once-extensive Nobelius & Co. nursery. From here, seedlings and plants were dispatched by rail to all parts of Australia and the world. ‘The Packing Shed’ has been restored as a popular venue for ‘wine & dine’ functions such as weddings and the evening ‘Dinner & Dance Trains’.
10.2km (6.4 miles) from Belgrave.
Named after the former Nobelius estates, this small wayside station on the right of the train is almost half way between Belgrave and Gembrook.
18. LAKESIDE (Emerald Lake)
Lakeside is the perfect destination for families!
Located within Emerald Lake Park, Lakeside is the half-way point along the line to Gembrook.
BBQ facilities and picnic tables make this an ideal place to relax alongside the lake. Passengers can pack a picnic or purchase lunch from the café. Playground facilities, a wading pool (summer only) and paddle boats (for hire) are available to keep the kids entertained.
Visit our station kiosk for souvenirs, food
Lakeside was the terminus of the line before reopening to Gembrook in 1998. Trains usually pause here for the crew to fill the locomotive water tanks. Toilets are provided at the station.
13.2km (8.25 miles) from Belgrave.
Altitude 242m (795 feet).
On the left of the train, this was formerly the station for the town of Avonsleigh.
20. Timber Bridges
Between Wright and Cockatoo, the Railway crosses three timber bridges. The first, shortly after passing Wright, is of four spans and is 24.4m (80 feet) long and 7.6m (25 feet) high, over a small creek.
The second bridge is much larger, with 10 spans, carrying the line over a deep gully. It is 61m (200 feet) long and 15.2m (50 feet) high.
Further down the valley, the third bridge has 10 straight spans, over Cockatoo Creek. It is 45.7m (150 feet) long and 4.6m (15 feet) high. Cockatoo Creek is the lowest point on the line between Belgrave and Gembrook and marks the start of a steep (1 in 30) uphill climb for 5.2km (3.25 miles) to the highest point on the line near Gembrook.
21. Wright Forest
Between Wright and Cockatoo Creek, the Railway skirts the northern boundary of the un-spoilt Wright State Forest, with large stands of Stringy Bark and other eucalypt trees.
Originally named Cockatoo Creek, the station was an important loading point for timber from sawmills in the area.
17.3km (10.8 miles) from Belgrave.
Altitude 188.7m (619 feet).
Named after local land-owners, this is another typical wayside station on the left of the train.
As the train climbs towards Gembrook, the lineside bush gives way to extensive views of rolling cultivated farmlands, where potatoes are still grown, and distant mountain ranges.
25. Timber Bridge
The single-span bridge carries the Railway over an old farm access track, now disused. Shortly after the bridge, the train climbs one of the longest straight sections of the line.
Gembrook Station is located at the end of the Puffing Billy line.
Stroll along one of the signposted walks in town, as well as the Avenue of Honour that commemorates local soldiers' sacrifice during the Second World War. Several dining
options are available within the township. Picnic facilities are provided at the station and in the adjacent park. Trains usually stop over for an hour or more for visitors to explore the historic town before the return trip.Our refreshment room can be visited for
souvenirs, food and beverages.
On the fourth Sunday of every month, a trip to Gembrook aboard the train can be easily combined with a visit to the Gembrook Market.
Gembrook was once a busy centre for the dispatch of timber and farm produce from the district.
24km (15 miles) from Belgrave.
Altitude 311.8m (1020 feet).
Puffing Billy Journey map
View Puffing Billy Rail Trail in a larger map
You are welcome to download our Guide To Your Journey brochures which contain a map of the railway in the following languages:
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