Category Archives: Pure Adventure

The Puffing Billy Railway

The century old Puffing Billy Railway making it way across the timber trestle
The century old Puffing Billy Railway making it way across the timber trestle The words thrilling and carefree come to mind when I look at this picture of Australia’s well preserved Puffing Billy Railway. The dangling feet and curious smiling faces oblivious to any danger,  makes me long for worry free younger days, but that is another story.

additional resources Puffing Billy had its start in the 1900’s as Australia made attempts to develop several of its rural areas. They built four experimental lines to different areas but this is the only major survivor.  In 1953 a landslide unfortunately caused the closure of the line. Two years later in 1955,   a group of  volunteers  founded  the Preservation Society to assist in the train’s operation  and  minimize financial impact on the managing body, Victorian Railways. Yes!  Puffing Billy was on its way back. Over the next four plus decades the tireless efforts of the volunteers to rebuild the lines and bridges gained visibility and backing from the government (this came later in the 1970’s).  Sure, they came to the party late, but there is no doubt that the Society was glad that the Government showed up.

gr bourg en bresse This century year old steam train still runs on its original mountain track through the Dandenong Ranges between Belgrave and Gembrook. They offer entertainment that runs the gamut from Bollywood night, dining , weddings, murder mystery and Jazz to an all-time family favorite “Thomas the  Tank Engine“. Simply writing about it makes me smile. So arrive early (at least half an hour) and pack light to enjoy this reclaimed gem