Hogwarts Express has left - all aboard the Colonial Express
Toot Toot! After many years in storage, authentic 1890s passenger train carriages are back on the tracks of the[ LINK=http://www.vgr.com.au/homepage.php]Victorian Goldfields Railway[/LINK]. Come aboard as the Victorian Colonial Express chugs along through the beautiful countryside of the Victorian Goldfields. Experience what train travel in the 1880's was like when these passenger carriages were the latest and greatest in speed and comfort.
Running on the following Saturdays for the Festival, these will be the only public running dates of these carriages for 2017:
April: 22, 29 May: 6, 13, 20
Enjoy the old world charm of a steam train
Leaving from Castlemaine's historic railway station (opened on 21 October 1862) at 11.30am, you'll make your way to the town of Maldon where you will have 3 hours for lunch and to explore this quaint town. Maldon was declared Australia's First "Notable Town" in 1965 by the National Trust of Australia for its 19th-century appearance, maintained since the gold-rush days. Click here for some great ideas for things to do whilst in Maldon.
You'll then hop back on the train for the return trip to Castlemaine, arriving back at 4.30pm. The train ride is 1 hour each way.
Whilst on the train, open the windows, wave at the cows, count kangaroos and listen to the engine as it huffs and puffs up the hills. You'll just about be able to hear it saying "I think I can I think I can" (from the beloved children's book The Little Engine That Could)
Why not make it a full day of train travel by travelling to Castlemaine from Melbourne on a fast V/line service? A connecting fast V/Line train leaves Southern Cross station at 9.39am and gets you back to Southern Cross at 6.21pm.
Compare Victoria's oldest and newest trains to appreciate how much train travel has changed in the last 120 years. Guess which train travels at a speedy 160km per hour and which one chugs along at a sedate 20km per hour?
At 20km, you'll have plenty of time to watch the countryside go by
If you're driving, Castlemaine in the goldfields region of Victoria, is about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne and about 40 kilometres from Bendigo. Castlemaine's railway station is on Kennedy Street. Parking is available in Gingell Street.
Fares for the Castlemaine to Maldon return trip are as follows:
•Member $40 (National Trust Member or VGR Members)
The KANGAROO Hotel is a great place for lunch and take a good carry bag for 'finds' at the wonderful lolly shop down on the left hand side. The Cordials are well worth bringing home - we love the Sarsparilla cordial.
Antiques fascinate and the Bakery goods are delis.
We needed more than the permitted 3 hours in Maldon so will have to checkout staying o/nt with the special train service. Drinks in the train's lounge is very civilised travel.