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You can enjoy a train ride in the comfortable and private compartments within the carriages that have been fully restored by the volunteers of the Mornington Railway Preservation Society. The carriages were used on the main lines around Melbourne till about the late 1970's and are referred to as 'red rattlers'. The preservation group work tirelessly to keep the train running and well maintained and are currently in the process of restoring the track from Moorooduc to the Baxter junction. Money is the main issue with the track restoration set to cost upwards of five million dollars which includes signals and road crossings.
Currently passengers can take the train journey behind the K163 steam locomotive or behind one of the two diesel engines that operate on complete fire ban days and on one Sunday of the month. For anyone that prefers going on the steam train then you can find the running days and times listed here, keeping in mind the train only runs on the first 3 Sundays of the month and on special train days (usually long weekends).
The train line between Moorooduc and Mornington is approximately 5km and takes roughly 17 minutes so it's not long enough for young children to get bored (which most parents will appreciate). At Mornington station you can catch the minibus (subject to days operating, call beforehand to check) or stroll into Mornington to visit the shops, beaches and cafes before returning for your train ride back to Moorooduc. One way trips are available but you will need someone to pick you up at either of the stations as there is no bus between the two stations.
Volunteers are children orientated and welcome them to climb up and have a look at the steam engine, (this was also the highlight of most adults as well) then we were given a small tour of the maintenance/locomotive shed where they are restoring another carriage and where they house the diesel engines (may cost extra for full tour). The Railway celebrated its 150,000th passenger when we visited on the 2nd of March 2014 so it was a special day for the volunteers and the recipient of the certificate.
For those of you who prefer a more hands on train experience you can learn to drive the steam or diesel engines for between $400 - $1800. For more information on the train experience click here. Luckily the cost of train rides is within most people's budget with a return adult ticket being $16, concession $13, children $8 and a family of four costing $43, children under 4 are free.
If you're feeling peckish you can get a sausage in bread for $2 along with other snack foods and drinks from the Moorooduc station or if you're prepared and have packed a picnic then the Moorooduc park is adjacent to the train station and is accessible via a walking path from the car park. The park has a train themed playground, a small lake with lots of tadpoles and a few ducks with toilet facilities available.
We hope you enjoy your ride on the Mornington Railway.