The Puffing Billy railway was one of four low-cost 2'6" (762mm) gauge lines constructed in Victoria in the early 1900s to open up remote areas.
Puffing Billy is Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world.
The present line between Belgrave and Gembrook, through the forests, fern gullies and farmlands of the magnificent Dandenong Ranges, is the major part of the line which opened on 18 December 1900 and operated over 18.2 miles (29km) between Upper Ferntree Gully and Gembrook until 1953. In 1953, a landslide blocked the track and, because of operating losses, the line was closed the following year.
This station is the headquarters of the Railway, with both operating and administrative facilities. Most Puffing Billy trains commence their journeys here.Emerald:
This is the highest station on the line and in the yard is the Railway’s carriage repair workshop. Picnic and toilet facilities may be found at the station. This is also the venue for the popular 'Day Out With Thomas’ events.
Once a busy centre for the dispatch of timber and farm produce from the district. Picnic facilities are 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 the return trip.source
It was fun taking the ride. Some of the passengers even sat on the window feeling the cool wind while admiring the rainforest of the Dandenongs Ranges.
It was quite an experience!