Melbourne Steam Train|Puffing Billy Railway

The century-old Puffing Billy Railway is the most well-preserved narrow gauge railway in Melbourne. If someone wants me to name a place from the suburbs near Melbourne, that is best for fun, instagrammable, and suitable for family, couple, or friends across all age groups, then it is definitely Puffing Billy Railway.

So, this is the topic today.

In this article, I'm going to share the ultimate travel guide about the Puffing Billy Railway, including the transport, fares, timetable, attractions and some other travel tips. For anyone who plans to have a half-day or one-day trip here, be sure not to miss this article.

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary


1. How to get to the Puffing Billy Railway?

Getting to the Puffing Billy Railway is actually quite easy. You can rent a car and drive here, or you can take the Blue Line (Belgrave Line) from any train station in Melbourne CBD to Belgrave Station. After arriving at the station, follow the sign and a short walk around 3 minutes is needed to get to the boarding point of the steam train.

It takes about 70 minutes for a train ride from Melbourne to Belgrave, and the one-way ticket costs AUD$4.4. For more information about train, fares, routes, or myki card in Melbourne, check out here: Melbourne Public Transport & Myki Card Guide.

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary
Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(You can easily find the Puffing Billy Railway signs everywhere after coming out from the Belgrave Station. Just follow the instruction.)


2. Fares & Timetable

Next, I'm going to talk about the fares and timetable of the Puffing Billy Railway. First, down below, you can find the journey map of the Puffing Billy Railway.

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Map-Route-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

Among all the stations, Belgrave, Emerald, Lakeside and Gembrook are the 4 main stations. Tickets are priced to 3 categories based on these stations and the route you choose. You can pay for the route from Belgrave to Emerald/Lakeside, the route from Emerald/Lakeside to Gembrook, or the full journey from Belgrave to Gembrook. The details are as follows:

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

As for the timetable, there are only 3 to 4 services per day during weekdays. Slight changes to the timetable on Australian National Holidays may apply. The timetable of each station is as follows:

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Timetable-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

So which route should you choose? Most people recommend boarding from Belgrave and getting off at Lakeside. Here are the reasons: a full return journey from Belgrave to Gembrook takes about 4 hours, which is too long for the railway experience and can easily make people in a rush to enjoy the trip. Choosing the route from Belgrave to Lakeside provides visitors more flexibility on trip planning and more time to relax with the fresh mountain atmosphere. But, of course, it is totally fine if you want to have a full experience of the narrow gauge railway, but then I would highly recommend you take the earliest service to allow sufficient travel time.

※Tips here: if you don't want to wait in line to buy tickets or want to get some discounted tickets, there are some booking websites offering great price, such as the Puffing Billy Steam Train Ticket on Klook or the Melbourne Puffing Billy Railway Ticket on KKday. Remember to check it out before your trip.
In addition, tour packages like Puffing Billy Steam Train & Wine Country Day Tour, Puffing Billy Steam Train & Phillip Island Day Tour, Puffing Billy Steam Train Day Tour, or Puffing Billy Steam Train & Healesville Wildlife Day Tour can also be good options. These packages often offer great values and can save you the trouble of transport arrangement.

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(Puffing Billy Railway's tickets include a normal boarding ticket and a souvenir ticket. Please be noted that Puffing Billy Railway is operated as a tourist train, so myki cannot be used here.)


3. What's fun with Puffing Billy Railway?

Now, it's time for the most important part, how to have fun in your Puffing Billy Railway tour? Of course, the typical way to enjoy it is to enjoy the picturesque scenery and to explore the station one by one!

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary
Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(If you are boarding from Belgrave and have spare time before departure, there is a cute little town near Belgrave Station, where you can find many restaurants, clothing stores, souvenir shops, etc. Feel free to go and have a look.)

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(You can also enjoy the busking at Belgrave Station while waiting. The train will arrive early so that everyone has enough time to take pictures.)

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(Finally, it's time to set off. One tip for you here. I recommend that you can take the seats from those carriages close to the rear-end of the train and make sure you are facing forward, so that you won't miss the iconic view of the train passing through the Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge with steam rushing out. As for sitting on the left or right side, based on my experience, it doesn't make too many differences.)

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(This is the first station of the whole journey, Menzies Creek, where the train will stop for about 5 to 10 minutes, allowing tourists to hop off and take pictures. I will not recommend you stay here as there are not many interesting things around.)

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary
Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(Then the train will take you through the beautiful forests. You will be amazed by the magnificent nature of the Dandenong Ranges and marvel at the historic relics which were used to deliver goods in early 1900s. You will also pass the highest station on the line, Emerald.)

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(Tourists used to be allowed to put their hands and feet outside the carriage, which was also one of the traditional ways of enjoying the Puffing Billy Railway. However, due to some accidents, tourists are now prohibited from performing this action.)

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary
Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(Now, we arrive at the Lakeside Station where most people will hop off the train and spend some time enjoying the lake view, having picnics, or doing barbecues. People can also rent paddle boats here to have some fun. Lakeside is definitely an ideal place for family.)

Melbourne-Puffing Billy Steam Train-Puffing Billy Railway-Fare-Boarding-Attractions-Recommendation-Independent Travel-Day Tour-Half Day Tour-Itinerary

(At the end of the journey, just take the steam train returning to the Belgrave Station. This is the last chance you can take the iconic picture of the train curving around the trestle bridge bend, which is the classic postcard scene of the Puffing Billy Railway. Don't miss it.)


Here is all for the introduction of the Puffing Billy Railway in Melbourne. Given its unique cultural essence, stunning scenery, and relaxing vibe, this is an extremely popular attraction among all the tourists. As for me, during my trip here, not only I got to learn more about the local history and culture, but also, I had a wonderful and relaxing time. I would definitely recommend Puffing Billy Railway to anyone who plans to visit Melbourne.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post