PUFFING BILLY RAILWAY LAKESIDE DISCOVERY CENTRE, EMERALD LAKE PARK
By Christmas 2020, Puffing Billy Railway will have a new, state-of-the-art $20M Lakeside Discovery Centre at Emerald Lake Park in Emerald. The new Discovery Centre will enhance the Puffing Billy experience by featuring a café, function spaces, significantly upgraded toilet facilities, retail, food and beverage options and interpretation spaces for school groups and families.
The new site will become the hub of the railway and shall be instrumental in opening up the Lakeside to Gembrook section of the train line for use all year round.
- $8.2M from the Victorian State Government
- $5.5M from the Federal Government
- $6.3M from Puffing Billy Railway
About the Lakeside Discovery Centre (LDC) Project Governance Group (PGG)
Under the oversight of the Lakeside Discovery Centre (LDC) Project Governance Group (PGG), this project has now progressed from Design Development into the Construction Documentation phase. The PGG was formed with the introduction of the new Board and comprises of Board members, representatives of government and ETRB management.
This Group plays a critical role in reviewing key deliverables, timelines, costs, statutory requirements and ensuring that the result will deliver to the intent of the Master Plan and strategic goals of the railway. As is appropriate, any key actions and decisions arising from the PGG are then forwarded to the Board for formal ratification.
First internal renders released
Whilst minor design details are still being finalised, we are pleased to release our first artist impressions based on the architect’s current plans along with associated plans.
Upon viewing the artist's impressions, you will see that externally the Lakeside Discovery Centre is black and shiny like the locomotives that are the signature of the railway, which ultimately recedes into the shadows of the bush. The new Lakeside Discovery Centre is a silhouette backdrop - grounded in place - to the hero that is the Puffing Billy Railway.
This project has been through extensive formal public and internal consultation and the varying views have been taken into account. The contemporary design, whilst notably in contrast to the usual heritage style of the railway, was selected by a broad panel comprising of internal stakeholders and external, independent experts and was determined to be the best design to meet the needs and expectations of the diverse range of stakeholders that enjoy Puffing Billy today. The design and functionality have also been subjected to two separate reviews by the Victorian Design Review Panel of the Victorian Government Architect Office. Their advice was consistent with other architecture, government, design and heritage development specialists in strongly recommending against the creation of a “false heritage” design.
Please note: These are artists impressions only.
Image above: Great Hall
Image above: Cafe corridor
Image above: Discovery Centre Entrance
Image above: External view from Model Railway car park
Image above: External view from lake
Image above: Evening view from lake
View the Proposed Site Plan (pdf) HERE
View the Ground Floor Plan (pdf) HERE
View Building Elevations (pdf) HERE
Feedback regarding the Lakeside Discovery Centre is always welcome and can be submitted via email at LDCfeedback@pbr.org.au.
Any updates will be provided on this site as they come to hand.
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