Start at Lakeside

Allow us to let you in on a little secret...

Escape the crowds and enjoy a family outing on this lesser-known part of Puffing Billy.

Passengers can enjoy a visit to Emerald Lake Park either before or after their Puffing Billy journey. This park offers BBQ facilities and picnic tables, playground facilities, a wading pool and paddle boats for hire, and is the perfect spot for visitors with kids!


Did you know that Puffing Billy crosses three historic timber bridges between Lakeside and Gembrook?

Underway, the Railway skirts the northern boundary of the un-spoilt Wright State Forest, with large stands of Stringy Bark and other eucalypt trees.

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.

book your journey from lakeside

We strongly recommend you PRE-PURCHASE tickets to avoid disappointment. We allocate a certain number of tickets for each train to online bookings, and these can be purchased up until 8 am on the day of travel (subject to availability). After this time, or when the capacity allocated to online bookings for a certain train has been reached (whichever occurs first), our online bookings will be listed as sold out.

A limited number of tickets are available for sale from our stations on the day; however, these are sold on a first-come-first-served basis. Depending on the time of year, these tickets may sell out very quickly, for instance during school holidays and weekends (especially if the weather is lovely!).

Online bookings are available for RETURN travel from Belgrave to Lakeside or Gembrook Stations only. We allocate a certain number of tickets for each train to online bookings.

We strongly advise that you arrive at the Booking Office at least 45 minutes prior to your train departure time.

Your booking entitles you to sit in any of the unreserved carriages, however, to ensure your party can be seated together, we strongly advise that you arrive at the Booking Office at least 30 minutes prior to your train departure time to collect tickets and board the train. Puffing Billy is very popular and allowing extra time makes it easier to find seats for you all in the same carriage.

Customers who have booked tickets online can proceed to the Online Bookings window.

You can find the Online Bookings window at the Booking Office at Belgrave or Lakeside to collect your tickets upon arrival.

Tickets are non-refundable nor transferable.

Should Puffing Billy be unable to run this train we will endeavour to transfer your booking to another date, however, if this is not possible, a full refund will be given. In this instance, we will notify you of the cancellation by email and/or phone as soon as possible.

Whilst every attempt is made to honour all bookings, Puffing Billy reserves the right to alter events, timetables or locomotives without prior notice.


  • Should you have passengers with Special Needs (eg. wheelchair access) you MUST contact the Puffing Billy Customer Service Centre on (03) 9757 0700 rather than book online. This way we can determine whether their needs can be accommodated.
  • Guide dogs are the only dogs permitted on the train.
  • No toilets are available aboard Puffing Billy's carriages, however, toilets can be found at each main station.

Whilst you are unable to sit on our carriage ledges at the moment, you can still experience the magic of a day at Puffing Billy.  Meet some of the characters of the railway, have your photo taken with the driver, take in the majestic scenery of the Dandenong Ranges, feel the excitement as you cross historical timber trestle bridges, and delight in the sound of the whistle echoing through the hills. Remember to take plenty of photos, wave to every passer-by, and get ready to create memories of a special day on board Australia’s favourite steam train, Puffing Billy.



Fire Danger Rating

On declared days of Total Fire Ban in the Central Zone or the whole state of Victoria, steam locomotives will not run. Instead, the train will be operated with a diesel locomotive.

On declared days of a fire rating of Extreme or Code Red in the Central Zone or the whole state of Victoria, no trains will operate and no Puffing Billy staff or volunteers will be on the premises.




Please read over our tips before visiting Puffing Billy.

Temporary Notice - Access & Parking at Lakeside Station (Emerald Lake Park)

Please note that due to current maintenance works on Lake Treganowan, parking and road access to Emerald Lake Park is limited. For this reason, we encourage you to avoid driving to the park if possible.

For more information, please visit Cardinia Council's website.

Download parking map here (pdf).

Parking at Lakeside Station (Emerald Lake Park)

There is a fee for parking in Emerald Lake Park. There is a Council operated ticket machine - $6 flat fee for the day.

Please note that there is no public transport to or from Lakeside Station. Visitors wishing to take this journey will need to drive themselves to Lakeside Station located within Emerald Lake Park.