Puffing Billy is one of Victoria’s major tourist attractions. Loved by visitors and Victorians alike, it is a highly valued tourist destination supported by the efforts of a very large, passionate and committed group of more than 900 volunteers.
No longer is Puffing Billy just a train ride mainly for Melburnians, it is now a major tourist attraction which embraces and values its volunteers and draws an international and national audience of visitors.
Puffing Billy is now the world’s largest volunteer based heritage steam railway tourist attraction, larger than any other on a global scale.
Based on current and projected demand and existing infrastructure capability, Puffing Billy has already exceeded its visitation capacity of approximately 480,000 visitors, with 510,128 travelling in 2017/18 financial year.
Due to this extreme visitor demand growth, driven predominantly from international markets over the last four years, the Railway is now planning its operation for tomorrow.
A $78 million investment in the Railway over 10 years is required to preserve and enhance Puffing Billy for future generations. $50 million of external investment over 10 years will be required to meet this objective.
The Puffing Billy Master Plan has been submitted to the State Government for consideration in the 2017/18 budget.
Further details about the reasons for investment in Puffing Billy, as well as the Top 10 Priorities for the Master Plan are outlined below.