Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
The first thing I said when I heard of Kerrisdale Mountain Railway was "Where is Kerrisdale"? That was a very good question as it turns out to be half way between Seymour and Yea in the North East corner of the Tallarook Ranges, North Central Victoria which is roughly a 117km drive from Melbourne's CBD.
The Railway is located at 7523 Goulburn Valley Highway and there are two signs in close proximity but it would be easy to miss the driveway entrance as there is no turning lane onto the gravel driveway from the Highway, follow the drive up the hill to the parking bay and ticket office. The view from the parking bay over the nearby hills and ranges is very pleasant.
Andrew and Jennifer Forbes own and run the railway and were the first people we spotted, both in navy overalls and caps with hair to match. They certainly look the part.
At the ticket box we were surprised at the cost to ride on the train with adults being $15 and children $10, however it was to be a 35 - 40 minute ride according to their Internet page and a tour of the museum so we thought the price wasn't too bad.
We boarded the two carriage train with a small engine at the back to the sound of a whistle and "all aboard", then we were off with a "peep, peep". We slowly travelled up hill around a few bends, past a group of kangaroos lying in the grass and onto a section where we stopped to change lines.
Everyone hopped out and had the chance to change the points before getting back in and going to the summit. We were there already, barely a few minutes on the train and we were at the summit. Everyone got out again to look at the old gold mining collection which Andrew was happy to demonstrate and talk about the history of. After about 15 minutes we stopped at the summit and the whistle blew. It was time to go back down the hill.
On return we were advised to stay for a talk on the museum and a demonstration of the different engines that have been collected over the years.
The kids really enjoyed the train ride, but for $60 for a short trip that would have been no longer than 10 minutes of the train being in motion. I found it disappointing as I expected the track to be longer, especially after reading the line description on their website, however the part that says "to gain the maximum height within the shortest distance" is correct.
Whilst I thought it was expensive and the line was short, I also appreciate the time that has been dedicated in making this rail line and the restoration of the items in the museum and I realise costs involved are high. The owners are lovely and welcoming and if you don't mind the prices and the short track you will enjoy visiting Kerrisdale Mountain Railway & Museum for the history of the engines and immaculate presentation.