The Questions below are frequently asked by our passengers, and we trust you'll find the answer to some of your queries here.
If your query is not listed below, please contact our Customer Service Centre on (03) 9757 0700 or submit your inquiry here and we will be able to assist you.
Planning a trip to Puffing Billy
You can purchase return tickets from Belgrave to Lakeside, Lakeside to Gembrook and Belgrave to Gembrook up until 8am on day of travel, subject to availability. Please refer to our Buy Tickets page here for more information.
Only return tickets Belgrave to Lakeside, Lakeside to Gembrook and Belgrave to Gembrook can be pre-booked online.
One way tickets are available on a first come, first served basis from the station on the day of travel.
Please note: if travelling one way onboard Puffing Billy, you will need someone to pick you up from the other station, for instance, a friend or a relative not travelling on board with you.
After 8 am on the day of travel, or when the capacity allocated to online bookings for a certain day (whatever occurs first), our online bookings will be listed as sold out on our website. After this time, 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!).
The duration depends on which section of the railway line you choose to travel;
- Belgrave to Menzies Creek - 30 mins each way. Return trips to Menzies Creek are only advised on certain train departures. Please note that travelling to Menzies Creek on some train departures results in a two-hour wait for the train's return to Belgrave.
- Belgrave to Lakeside - 1 hour each way or 3 hours return with 1 hour spent at Lakeside.
- Lakeside to Gembrook - 40 mins each way or 3.5 hours return with approx 2 hours spent at Gembrook.
- Belgrave to Gembrook - 1 hour 50 mins each way or 5.5 hours return with approx 2 hours spent at Gembrook.
For timings on your preferred train departure, please refer to our timetable here.
Your train fare depends on what journey you wish to travel, whether you have a concession card and whether you are travelling as a family with children (discounted family fares are available).
Information about facilities and attractions at the different stations is available on The Journey page on this website.
There is car parking available on all the main stations. More information can be found here.
In Belgrave, the following parking options are available:
- Rear of US Bus Lines (35 spaces)
- Metro carpark (100 spaces)
- Mater Christi College (Weekends and School Holidays ONLY - 100 spaces)
- CFA carpark (30 spaces)
- Masonic Carpark (15 spaces)
The maximum speed limit is 15 miles per hour (approximately 24 km/h).
If you are travelling in a wheelchair, there are limited wheelchair spaces available. Please contact us before the day of travel. Further information for persons with limited mobility can be found here.
Yes, you are most welcome to do this. Snacks, as well as hot and cold beverages, are available from all the main stations.
For more information regarding accommodation, click here.
For more information about nearby attractions, useful links can be found here.
We would not recommend breaking your journey en route unless travelling to Gembrook. In this instance, you could travel to Lakeside station on the 10.30 am train when it arrives at 11.30 am, and continue to Gembrook when that train comes in.
Puffing Billy's track goes from Belgrave to Gembrook, with stations en route including Menzies Creek, Emerald, Lakeside, and Cockatoo. At Gembrook Station, the train stops before returning to Belgrave on the same track. Many trains only travel as far as Lakeside Station before returning. There are more than one Puffing Billy locomotive which enables the Railway to operate at least four train departures daily (except Christmas Day).
This information is collected for marketing purposes. By knowing where our visitors originate from, we can ensure that the information available at our stations, as well as online, caters to our visitors.
Yes, but due to the narrow carriage doors, folding or narrow type pushers are the only types of prams which can be accommodated on Puffing Billy. Find out more here.
Puffing Billy uses an external caterer, and as a result, we need prior notice to ensure we have the correct number of dishes available on the train for the passengers travelling on the day.
Bus route 695 services Belgrave-Gembrook Road, and passes close to Gembrook, Emerald, Menzies Creek and Belgrave stations. Catching this bus after travelling on Puffing Billy to Lakeside Station (in Emerald Lake Park) requires a 700-metre walk to the closest bus stop. Most of this walk is uphill. For updated timetable information, please refer to the Public Transport Victoria website here.
Walking this distance takes approx. 30 minutes. Some of the distance is uphill.
Commencing the journey elsewhere than belgrave
More information about the drive to Puffing Billy can be found here. This will assist in working out the distance and how to find your way by car.
It takes about 10 minutes to drive from Belgrave to Menzies Creek, and 20 minutes to drive from Belgrave to Lakeside.
Yes. The car park at Lakeside station is run by Cardinia Shire Council, and parking fees are $6 per day.
Yes, they can! More information is available on our website here.
A minimum of 20 or more paying passengers on a return journey qualifies for a group discount. More information is available on our website here.
No, Group Concession fares are only available if pre-booked through the Customer Service Centre on (03) 9757 0700.
Operations and Volunteering
Puffing Billy operates six steam locomotives and two diesel locomotives on our Excursion Trains, plus certain other locomotives which are used for some of our special events.
Due to the heritage nature of the steam locomotives, Puffing Billy has a regular maintenance program in place. As a result, one or more of the locomotives can be out of service for maintenance at any given time.
The Diesel locomotives are predominately used on days of Total Fire Ban.
Fire Patrol vehicles will operate behind all trains be they steam or diesel hauled for the duration of the declared Fire Danger period. The primary role of the Fire Patrol crew is the detection and reporting of fires. Their secondary role is to fight the fire if it is within their training and resource capacity to safely do so.
On any given day, between 30-50 volunteers work at Puffing Billy. The Railway has over 900 volunteers. Please visit our Volunteering website page for more information here.
On a return trip from Belgrave Station to Lakeside Station, the locomotive uses approximately 3/4 ton of coal.
Puffing Billy's History
Puffing Billy was built as a developmental railway to allow the settlers in the Dandenong Ranges access to Melbourne's markets to sell their produce. The railway carried general goods, potatoes, produce, timber and passengers.
The NA locomotives were constructed between 1899 and 1917. 6A is our oldest operational locomotive, having been built in 1901. All the locomotives have builder's plates that tell you the year in which they were built.