Puffing Billy – this century-old steam train is Australia’s premier preserved steam railway and continues to run on its original mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook in the magnificent Dandenong Ranges 40kms east of Melbourne.
Regardless of your end destination, your day starts at the Puffing Billy railway station in Belgrave. Before long you will be peeking out of the window to admire the most iconic point of the journey – the historic Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge!
The train will stop at Emerald Station and you can choose to disembark or continue travelling on to Lakeside Station. If you haven’t packed a picnic lunch, don’t stress – the Lakeside Tearooms at Lakeside Station have you sorted for all your food needs! Alternatively, savour a delicious three course lunch or graze over the signature “Natter Platter” followed by a dessert of scones, jam and cream in the Puffing Billy’s exclusive First-Class Carriage. When you’re ready, jump on a returning train to take you back to Belgrave.
If you are choosing to travel on to Gembrook, you’ll enjoy a ride of 24 kilometres along Puffing Billy’s narrow gauge track. After Lakeside Station, continue on through Wright Forest and out into the open farmlands of Gembrook. The train will stop at Gembrook for 1 hour and 45 minutes so take the chance to stroll through the Gembrook township. Picnic and BBQ facilities are also available in the park adjacent to the station.
- The Puffing Billy departs daily at 10:30 am, 11:10 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm from Belgrave to Lakeside; Departs at 11:10 am from Belgrave to Gembrook.
- Location: Puffing Billy Railway station, 1 Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave
- By train: Travel to Belgrave Station on the Metro Trains Belgrave Line from Melbourne CBD (approximately 70 minutes)
- By car: Belgrave Station is approximately a 1 hour drive from Melbourne CBD using the M1
- Melway Map: 75 F10
Please note that there is NO parking available for passengers on this road. Visitors may park at the following locations:
Puffing Billy Car Park:
- FREE parking. Entry via Belgrave – Gembrook Road, before the Metro Rail Bridge on the left as you turn off Burwood Highway.
- Walking directions: Walk out of the car park, turn left and walk across the Metro rail bridge before turning left into Old Monbulk Road to the Puffing Billy entrance (rotunda). Walk through it and down the zig-zag path to the station.
Parking at the Belgrave CFA Car Park:
- FREE parking at 2 Bayview Road, Belgrave VIC 3160.
- Please note: Parking in CFA defined bays, as indicated in the signage, is prohibited and can be subject to penalties.
- Walking directions: The Puffing Billy entrance (rotunda) can be seen from this car park. Walk through it and down the zig-zag path to the station.
Parking at Belgrave Metro Trains Car Park:
- FREE parking. As this car park is used by Metro train commuters, it fills quickly Monday – Friday.
- Walking directions: Follow the signposted walkway under the Metro rail bridge to the Puffing Billy station.
Parking at Woolworths Belgrave Car Park:
- FREE parking behind the main street shops. Enter via Reynolds Lane. Parking restrictions may apply.
- Walking directions: Walk down the main street in Belgrave (Burwood Hwy), turn right at the roundabout and cross the Metro rail bridge. Turn left into Old Monbulk Road to the Puffing Billy entrance (rotunda). Walk through it and down the zig-zag path to the station.
Parking at Mater Christi College, Bayview Road, Belgrave VIC 3160:
- FREE parking during the weekends and Victorian school holidays only (dates will be advised). This car park is not available for Puffing Billy patrons on school days.
- Walking directions: Walk down Bayview Road and turn right into Old Monbulk Road to the Puffing Billy entrance (rotunda). Walk through it and down the zig-zag path to the station.
- Available dates:
21 September – 6 October 2019
21 December 2019 – 28 January 2020
Please be mindful of local Council parking restrictions when selecting where to park. Kootrip and Puffing Billy takes no responsibility for any parking fines incurred by our guests.
Parking around Belgrave is limited, so we encourage our guests to allow plenty of time to find a spot.
What to explore:
- Belgrave Station – It is the headquarters of the Railway, with both operating and administrative facilities. Passengers can visit the refreshment room for souvenirs, food and beverages. Belgrave is also home to the Locomotive Running Shed and Workshop. This is where storage, maintenance and restorations take place on the Puffing Billy family of locomotives.
- Picnic facilities, toilets (incl. accessible toilet), and parenting rooms are available at the station. The Belgrave township is only a short walk away and has an abundance of shopping and dining options.
- Emerald (Township) – This is the highest station on the line. The station building is the only original station building that remains intact along the line.
- Emerald offers shops, cafes, and bakeries. On the second Saturday of every month, a trip aboard the train to Emerald can be combined with a visit to the Emerald Hills Art Market. In the yard at Emerald is the Railway’s carriage repair workshop. Picnic and toilet facilities may be found at the station, and in the nearby park.
- Lakeside – Lakeside is the perfect destination for families! Located within Emerald Lake Park, Lakeside is the half-way point along the line to Gembrook and is a 60-minute ride from Belgrave station.
- BBQ facilities and picnic tables make this an ideal place to relax alongside the lake. Playground facilities, a wading pool (summer only) and paddle boats (for hire) are available to keep the kids entertained. The park also offers several walking tracks, and an array of native and exotic plants and wildlife.
- Gembrook – Gembrook Station is the last stop on the Puffing Billy line, with the line being reopened between Lakeside and Gembrook in 1998.The train ride from Belgrave to Gembrook Station takes approx. 1 hour and 50 minutes one way.
- Stroll along one of the signposted walks in town, as well as the Avenue of Honour that commemorates local soldiers’ sacrifice during the Second World War.
- Several dining options are available within the township. Picnic and BBQ facilities are also provided at the station and in the adjacent park. Trains usually stop over for an hour or more for visitors to explore the historic town before their return trip. The refreshment room can be visited for souvenirs, food and beverages.
- On the fourth Sunday of every month, a trip to Gembrook aboard the train can be easily combined with a visit to the Gembrook Market.
- Smoking is not permitted on the train, platforms or under any roofed areas.
- Alcohol is not permitted on trains (except the ones provided on dining cars).
- For safety reasons, customers on the Puffing Billy steam train cannot put their legs out the side of the train. Currently there is no date on when this restriction will be removed.
- There are no toilets available aboard Puffing Billy, however toilets can be found at each main station.