HISTORY IS MADE AS 11 MILLIONTH PASSENGER BOARDS PUFFING BILLY
Whilst others are still pondering their new year resolutions, Puffing Billy is already full steam ahead in 2017! History was made on Thursday 5 January 2017 as the iconic Puffing Billy Railway welcomed its 11 millionth passenger on board since the Railway was reopened by the Puffing Billy Preservation Society in 1962.
Darryl Pate was delighted to discover he was the 11th million passenger as he and his wife, Teresa had travelled from Lara, Victoria with their three young children, Daniel, Olivia and Isabel to ride on Puffing Billy. “We’ve been meaning to bring the family on Puffing Billy for some time as our son Daniel is a great fan of steam trains”, said Darryl. “I also remember my dad telling me how he used to catch Puffing Billy to go to school when he was young”.
Puffing Billy Railway CEO, John Robinson, said the milestone was another magnificent chapter in the railway’s history and paid credit to the entire Puffing Billy team and 11 million visitors for making it possible.
“This achievement would have never been possible without all of our wonderful passengers who continue to visit us each and every year and share the Puffing Billy experience with their friends and family. We have passengers that have been riding the railway for many, many years, and also babies and children who are experiencing their first ride. It is wonderful to see so many people who love and cherish what we have created here at Puffing Billy,” Mr Robinson said.
“This record is a credit to the staff and huge band of over 900 dedicated volunteers who, over the years, have laboured tirelessly and given their time freely to preserve Puffing Billy for the enjoyment of all Australians and overseas visitors,” Mr Robinson said. “Our volunteers are the life blood of the railway – without them we simply could not continue to operate – and this milestone recognises their passion, commitment and dedication,” he said.
The 2016 calendar year saw an all-time record with over 454,000 passengers riding Puffing Billy through the Dandenong Ranges – an increase of 21% on the previous year. According to CEO, John Robinson, this is testament to the unique experience we offer at Puffing Billy. “We are constantly evolving and looking for new experiences that we can provide to visitors including the Steam & Cuisine After Dark dining experience, Murder on the Puffing Billy Express, music trains, a Day out with Thomas events, and the Great Train Race.
The world famous Puffing Billy Railway is Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The railway - which commenced operation in Australia on December 18, 1900 - operates every day except Christmas Day and is a genuine relic of our more leisurely days.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Meg Law – 0419 101 579 - firstname.lastname@example.org