Another Record Year for Puffing Billy


Good old-fashioned fun continues to reign supreme amongst locals and visitors alike, with more than 487,000 passengers flocking to Puffing Billy in 2016/17 – the fifth consecutive record year for the popular tourist attraction.

Puffing Billy recorded 487,237 passengers in the 2016/17 financial year, which is an increase of 17% on the previous year. This is also the highest patronage of any narrow gauge steam heritage railway in the world that is a volunteer-based, not for profit operation.

Puffing Billy Railway CEO, John Robinson, said the continued growth can be attributed to the increase in visitors from the Asian market, as well as regular repeat visitation from passengers who can’t get enough of the iconic tourist attraction.

“The Asian market now represents over half of overall visitors, and we are working really hard to ensure they have an enjoyable experience at Puffing Billy. We have recently prepared a Visitor Information brochure in Mandarin, produced new promotional videos with Chinese captions and have introduced recorded announcements in Mandarin on the Belgrave platform,” Mr Robinson said.

“We are also really proud of the fact that generations of Melbournians have visited us for over 100 years. Visitors love reliving their childhood memories by taking their children or grandchildren to experience Puffing Billy for the first time. It truly is a shared experience that creates lasting memories for the young and old alike. Our passionate and committed workforce, including over 900 volunteers, play a vital role in attracting people back to Puffing Billy. They work extremely hard to ensure everyone has an unforgettable visit, and these incredible visitation figures are an acknowledgement of this”.

“We’re also extremely fortunate that Puffing Billy is located so close to the Melbourne CBD and is accessible via the Metro Trains.  It makes it so much easier for visitors to Melbourne to come out for the day and discover the beauty of the Dandenong Ranges,” he said.

Puffing Billy received a Silver Award in the Major Tourist Attraction category in the Victorian Tourism Awards in 2016, and was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for the fourth year in a row.

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES:  Anna Heywood – 0438 136 220 -