Puffing Billy... A Bond between Past and Present

Puffing Billy Train
Puffing Billy Train

Culture and heritage always attract human minds and its roots give blood to our growth. No doubt life moves every moment in the future but still past play its role to shape our present as well future. Many things of the past can be reason for making our life more beautiful and worth living. Puffing Billy’s steam rail is one of those things of past that are worth being preserved forever. I visited this dreamland during my visit to Melbourne in June, 2010. It was really a wonderful and memorable experience. It is railway track of 24 km running through dense and beautiful forest. Volunteers of Puffing Billy Preservation Society are putting their efforts to ensure the continued preservation and operation of the historic narrow gauge steam railway between Belgrave and Gembrook. Built in 1900, Puffing Billy is Australia's oldest steam railway. On the 18th December 1900, this narrow-gauge railway was opened to serve the farmers in the area to transport their goods to the markets in Melbourne.

Menzies Creek Station
Menzies Creek Station

Belgrave, the gateway to Dandenong Rangesis situated 35 km east of Melbourne. Metro train service is available from Melbourne city to Belgrave via Ringwood. Belgrave is the primary starting point of this railway. Operations and administration centre, main refreshment room (also selling souvenirs) and ticket purchasing are located at Belgrave station.

Most trains start from Belgrave and travel to Lakeside and returns. Except Christmas Day the railway operates every day of the year. One service each day has the option of first-class carriages and lunch.

Puffing Billy Engine
Puffing Billy Engine

Open-sided carriages add more fascination to travel experience as you feel more close to forest and nature. However, there are also a number of enclosed carriages, both saloon and compartment cars. Menzies Creek, Clematis, Emerald, Nobelius, Lakeside, Wright,Cockatoo, Fielder are main railway stations between Belgrave and Gembrook. Near Menzies Creek station, there is a narrow-gauge railway museum. Emerald is a good place to stop off and eat and Lakeside a good place to have a walk. Emrald is also destination as well departure point of many trains of Puffing Billy.Travelling on Puffing Billy train is like recapturing the romance and charm of the bygone days of steam engine era.

Puffing Billy steam rail takes you through dense and beautiful forest of dandenong hill ranges and you feel like moving in some dreamland. It’s really worth visiting again and again.

© 2010 Jaspal Singh

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Comments 14 comments

Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

When we were kids we would call a train a puffing billy. I haven't heard that phrase for a long time.

Jasnav profile image

Jasnav 6 years ago

Nice hub. Great to learn about wonderful little places in far off lands that are so beautiful they touch the heart.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 6 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Hummingbird & Jasnav. Thanks for your comment on my Hub. Puffing Billy is really nice and worderfull place to visit. Have you ever been there ?

Gurpreet 6 years ago

Waoooooooooooooo.I really feel gudddd 2 c dis.

Blue Mountains Getaways Guy 6 years ago

Things like the puffing billy are very nostalgic and its good that they a little history has been preserved for us. If anyone's in Sydney and wanting to find similar train rides check out http://www.ideal-sydney-getaways.com/train-day-tri...

Blue Mountains Getaways Guy

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 6 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Blue Mountain Getaways Guy. Thanks for adding more information.

lotuslove19 profile image

lotuslove19 6 years ago

awesome!have you been to Darjeeling it has the same kind of narrow gauge train and you feel great to be the part of Indian heritage ,we even have train for Rajasthan tour ,which have compartments made like palace rooms EG; RAMBAGH PLACE ,JAI MAHAL PALACE UDAIPUR PLACE ETC

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TransScribbler 6 years ago

Hi Jaspals.

Even though I grew up in only kilometres from Belgrave, it is a couple of decades since I have been on Puffing Billy.

As a child it was a regular outing in the school holidays. I can still remember sitting, feet dangling over the railing, waving vinyl Puffing Billy flags at the cars at the trestle bridge and Menzies Creek crossing.

Back then, of course, Lakeside was the end of the line.

Thank you very much for bringing up some wonderful childhood memories!


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 6 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear lotuslove19 & TS. Thanks for your appreciation and adding more Information. Jaspal

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America

The sorchestra number "Puffing Billy" about the train was the theme song of the original Captain Kangaroo Show. If I hear it today, It still makes me hace a good day. Thank you for this Hub. Voted up and rated.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 6 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Patty Inglish,MS, Thanks for your nice comment.

baljit  6 years ago

once i enjoy puffing billy train with my small family

Sameer 5 years ago

Ya. thanks for d info Jaspal. Is there any indian / turkish/ lebenanese restuarents at menzies creek or emerald for lunch?? recommend a good one as im taking my family this easter on puffing billy,, there is a similar heritage train in matheran in bombay too!!

MG Singh profile image

MG Singh 5 years ago from Singapore

Hi Jaspal, interesting post

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