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Published July 4th 2014
A complete list of heritage, tourist and miniature railways
Having a little boy obsessed with trains was reason enough for us to travel the countryside on various weekends throughout the years to ride on trains big and small. From the cute miniature railway of Eltham to the big steam engine at Maldon and all inbetween. Here is our list of train rides in Victoria for you to enjoy.
Walhalla Goldfields Railway is my favourite of all the railways. The scenery is beautiful and the town has so much history. The one hour return journey is good value at $50 for a family or $20 per adult. I suggest you pack a picnic and enjoy the township of Walhalla.To read my full review click here.
Yarra Valley Railway currently runs out and back from Healesville station but works are underway to restore the track to Yarra Glen. It still worth having a ride on the current shorter track if you're in the area. My full review on the current track can be found here.
Victorian Goldfields Railway is a true country train ride on board the big old steam engine that chugs between Maldon and Castlemaine or on special 'children's days' between Maldon and Mucklesford. The children's day cost $75 per family and includes train ride, animal farm, trolley rides, clowns, rides and more. To visit their website click here.
Bellarine Railway follows the coastline from Queenscliff to Lakers Siding then out to Drysdale. Choose between the shorter trip to Lakers siding ( $40 per family return ) or the longer trip to Drysdale ( $70 per family return). This is a great railway and we have had many enjoyable trips followed by fish and chips in the park at Queenscliff. If you're like us and live on the opposite side of the bay ( Mornington Peninsula) then hopping on board the Searoad ferry as a foot passenger at Sorrento is a memorable way to arrive. To find out more click here. * Bellarine railway also has the popular Blues Train and 'Day out with Thomas'.
South Gippsland is a fun little diesel rail car that stops at Korumburra, Nyora and Leongatha stations. From Korumburra to Leongatha return is $58 per family. To visit their website click here or to read my review click here.
Mornington Railway runs most Sundays of the month from Moorooduc to Mornington return and like all of these heritage railways it's run by dedicated volunteers. Mornington has both steam and diesel engines so if you have a preference make sure you check their website to see which is running on the day you want to visit. A full review can be found here.
Puffing Billy is the the most well known and is extremely popular with tourists sightseeing through the Dandenong Ranges. You can travel the entire distance from Belgrave to Gembrook or take the popular option of Belgrave to Emerald Lake for a picnic lunch before returning. Either way it's a very scenic journey and one everyone should do at least once. To visit Puffing Billy's website click here.
Campbelltown railway is run by elderly couple Colin and Nancy that built, own, operate and maintain the railway to this day. I really like taking the kids on this train ride when we are in the area. There are no long queues, the kids love the ride and it's reasonably priced at $4.50 for the shorter track and $6 for the longer ride (children under 3 are free). Click here for more info.
Diamond Valley Railway in Eltham is the largest miniature railway we have been on to date and also the busiest. Rides here are a very modest $3pp for a good 10 - 15 minute ride that include tunnels, bridges and more. To read more click here.
Kerrisdale Mountain Railway is meticulously maintained, pride and joy of the owner operators but the ride and price left me underwhelmed about traveling so far for a short, $60 family train ride. You can read my review in full here.
Como Gardens Miniature Railway is a fast little train that zips around the beautiful Como gardens in The Basin. To ride on this train though is a little more difficult as it only operates during the two annual open garden weekends and during special pre arranged times but it's worth putting it on the calendar. At only $2 per ride you can take a few rides. To see when the gardens open next click here.
Melbourne Steam Traction Club at Scoresby operate a miniature diesel train every Sunday between 11am-4pm (weather permitting) on a 1 kilometre track around the perimeter of the club grounds. Train rides cost $2.50pp. It's more of an industrial railway next to the Eastlink off ramp and with lots of sheds and old machinery in paddocks than scenic gardens. To visit their website click here.
Melbourne Steam Traction train (left picture) Kerrisdale Railway on right
Mooroolbark & District railway runs on the 4th Sunday of the month. You will find a shady 800m track with a tunnel. Rides are a reasonable $2 per person. Click here for more details.
Altona railway is located just over the West Gate bridge and the track covers 1.2km. The railway is open to the public on the third Sunday of the each month between 11am-4pm and rides cost $2.50. To view their webpage click here.
Bulla Hill is a 1.5km miniature railway located 8km past the Melbourne Airport. Train rides are available on the 1st and 4th Sunday of each month between 12pm-4pm. Tickets cost $3pp. For more info click here.
Another one to add to the list is the Elmore Miniature Railway. A nice 1km ride with 4 trestle bridges and bushy gardens.
$3.50 per person with discounts for groups or multiple rides.