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Leap Year Tour to Leeor Loop and Kaniva

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Escape the City | Trains | Travel | Vintage and Retro
by Vanessa (subscribe)
WeekendNotes Chief Editor / Chief Writer / PR & Communications.

To celebrate the leap year, Vintage Rail Travel / 707 Operations and Steamrail Victoria are operating a diesel hauled extended day tour to Leeor Loop and Kaniva combining both broad and standard gauge heritage rail travel.

This unique experience is held once every four years and is the first of its kind to offer the best of both gauges in far Western Victoria – offering over 400 kilometres of broad gauge travel and 360 kilometres of standard gauge travel.

The day trip begins at Melbourne's Southern Cross Station with an early start (6.30 am) aboard the broad gauge train to Ararat – the western terminus of the broad gauge passenger network. This train will be the first loco hauled passenger train on the line in over 15 years and features locomotives T413 and P15 from V/Line.

The heritage train features:

  • Cafe Hudson espresso bar and bar service (broad gauge service)

  • Air conditioned restored 1950's carriages

  • Relaxed vintage travel atmosphere

  • Dining car serving light snacks and bar service (standard gauge service)

    On arrival at Ararat (9.20 am), passengers will transfer to the chartered Steamrail Victoria / Epee Rail Services standard gauge train hauled by K&AB RAIL locomotive TL152, which will venture westwards towards the destination of Kaniva and the Commercial Hotel (12.35 pm).

    At the destination, passengers will enjoy a relaxed luncheon barbecue provided at the Commercial Hotel, as well as friendly service and local country pub atmosphere.

    Afternoon departure from Kaniva is 2.40 pm, with the train arriving at Ararat at 5.50 pm to change trains before returning to Ballarat 7.20 pm and Melbourne's Southern Cross Station at 10.20 pm via North Geelong and the Regional Rail Link.

    This experience is strictly limited to 150 seats and ticket prices are $195 per person (includes a barbecue lunch at Kaniva). Additionally there are a small number of seats available on the standard gauge segment of the trip from Ararat to Kaniva for $130 per person (includes a barbecue lunch at Kaniva).

    Tickets are now on sale through

    For more information on the day trip, please visit

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    When: Saturday 27th February 2016, Southern Cross Station (Departure Time 6.30 am)
    Where: Departs Southern Cross Railway Station
    Cost: $195 (incl lunch)
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