New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published May 29th 2016
Update August 17th 2017
The Kingston Miniature Railway has ceased from this location (July 2017). They will now be called Canberra Miniature Railway and re-open in Symonston later in 2017.
Update November 26th 2016
The Kingston Miniature Railway will continue to run as scheduled (2nd and Last Sundays of the month) until Easter 2017 when operations will be transferred to their new site at Symonston.
Update November 23rd 2016
Kingston Miniature Railway is currently closed until further notice - November 2016
For all Thomas the Tank Engine fans
The Kingston Miniature Railway is run by the Canberra Society of Model and Experimental Engineers, a group of miniature train enthusiasts who bring joy to children across Canberra twice a month. On the second and last Sunday of each month, the Kingston Miniature Railway opens its gates, toots a horn and spends the day taking children and adults on rides around their property. It is also a fun location for Thomas the Tank Engine birthday parties, with good-natured Dads often seen dressed up as the Fat Controller for the occasion.
The cost to ride the train is $3 per ride (for children over 3) or you can buy an All Day Ticket for $15. On our visit we enjoyed the trip twice, however an All Day Ticket is good value if you plan on staying there awhile. The ticket booth now has EFTPOS facilities, as well as taking cash. See here for the safety rules and age requirements if kids want to ride on their own.
After you get your ticket, make your way to the station and have a chat to the friendly train conductor while you wait for the train. On our visit there were two miniature trains chugging around the track, where riders sit behind each other on a central long seat with legs down each side. There are also other miniature trains in their storage sheds, so other train varieties may also be on the track on future visits.
The train ride drives along 900m of track, which takes just under ten minutes to do the full loop. The train leaves the station and takes you around the main loop, past the party area in the centre of the track. If you wish to have a party in this grassed area, the cost is $30 which includes the use of their picnic tables and BBQ's and then purchase the children's train tickets. On our visit, on the last Sunday in May, most of the picnic tables were in the shade so ensure you bring extra warm clothes in the winter months if you are staying for a party. In summer, this would be an ideal party venue with plenty of cool shade to enjoy a BBQ and train ride.
The train ride then continues out of the main area and down along a track to view the trains at the back of the Canberra Railway Museum, which are under repair or restoration. If your kids love trains, they will enjoy seeing these old trains along the way and the opportunity to peek inside a shed to see an original steam train, just like Thomas.
If you enjoy miniature train rides, also check out the train at Yarralumla Play Station at Weston Park, which also has mini golf and historical trains to host children's parties.
Our family enjoyed our trip to the Kingston Miniature Railway. Although quite brisk under the trees in the colder months, it is a fun and exhilarating trip around the property. Our speed-loving young daughter was impressed with how fast the train got to, whilst along the outside part of the track. It is clear that the people that work with the trains are passionate about what they do, bringing their love of trains to the community for kids and adults to enjoy. It is the extra personal touches of the friendly train enthusiasts that also make the experience so rewarding. "All Aboard" and "All out or change" can be heard around the property, making this authentic experience fun for all ages to enjoy.
Of course, another fun part of riding a train is...