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Ride the Santa Train - Bellarine Railway

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by CassandraJoy (subscribe)
I write for Weekend Notes and I take photographs, usually sunsets and sunrises. Occasionally I include my photos in my articles. I like to promote Geelong, and activities around Geelong.
Santa's Special Train
Photo credited to Bellarine Railway
Come ride the train during December for a great day out, meeting Santa, and having a truly memorable Christmas experience with your children.

Come to the Bellarine Railway in December to ride the rails, see Santa and even receive a gift from Santa.

If you're a train enthusiast, and love the sound of a steam engine, bring your children along to The Bellarine Railway in Queenscliff for a great day out.
Santa on the Bellarine Railway
Photo credited to Bellarine Railway

This event is held on three different days during December - Sunday 6th December, Sunday 13th December and Sunday 20th December 2015.

Catch a ride on the Santa Train, have a great day out, meet Santa, take photos of your child with Santa. Let's get the festive season started by heading down to Queenscliff and jumping aboard Santa's Steam Train. Join in singing Christmas Carols. There will opportunities to take a photo of your children with Santa, and in front of the locomotive with its Santa Headboard.

Each child (and parent) will recieve a shortbread Christmas Tree and a bottle of water. Children (sorry not the parents) will also receive an activity pack to take away.

The train leaves Queenscliff Station and families will be allocated seats on 1 of 2 sessions with Santa - on either the outbound or the return journey.
Santa Gives Gifts to the Children
Photo credited to Bellarine Railway

Bookings are essential. See you there and hope this is a great way to start off your festive season!

Ticket prices vary according to your child's age. A family ticket will cost $105.00, which is for 2 adults and 2 children.

Bellarine Railway offers other services. Click here for A Day Out with Thomas.

About Bellarine Railway
Bellarine Railway logo
Photo credited to Bellarine Railway

The Bellarine Railway was formerly known as the Bellarine Peninsula Railway. It is a volunteer operated, steam driven tourist railway in Victoria Australia.

Bellarine Railway operates on a 16 km section of the formerly disused branch line on the Bellarine Peninsula. The steam driven trains run between Queenscliff and Drysdale, near Geelong.

In September 1878 the original railway line was commissioned. It opened on 21st May 1979. The railway line connected Queenscliff with the South Geelong Station, the terminus of the Geelong line, and the junction of the Warrnambool line.

It was thought at the time that passenger traffic alone might not justify a railway ilne, however military traffic from the port and Fort Queenscliff would warrant the construction.

Initially the railway line carried passengers, goods and military traffic. The service continued in this way for several decades.

In the 1st few months that the Bellarine railway line operated, it carried only one service per day. At the peak of its service in January 1885 four trains ran each day in each direction.

The service decreased to three and then was cut back to two trains a day in 1910. By 1931 passenger services were dropped completely. Goods services still continued to run, eventually being cut back to weekly operation, instead of daily.

During World War II the line started to be reused, carrying mines from the Swan Island military base. After the War the services were again reduced. Goods services were cut back to once a fortnight. The line was closed on 6th November 1976.

In 1968, while the Queenscliff line was still officially open, the Fyansford Cement Works Railway was closed.

The Fyansford Cement Company donated all its steam rolling stock to preservation groups, and the Geelong division of the Australian Railway Historical Society received two engines.

The two engines were placed at a temporary site at Belmont Common. The Geelong Division of the Australian Railway Historical Society constructed and operated a small tourist raiway, the Belmont Common Railway in 1970.

The site was prone to flooding and by 1976, it was apparent that the Belmont Common site was not feasible. When the Victorian Railways imminent closure of the Queenscliff line loomed, The Geelong Steam Preservation Society took the closure as an opportunity to shift operations to the Queenscliff Railway Station.

The society was involved in fundraising efforts during 1976 and 1977. The society began to re-gauge a short section of track around Queenscliff Station. This enabled their rolling stock to operate on the line.

With some government funding, the society succeeded in operating their first services - from Queenscliff to Lakers Siding in May 1979, and then to Drysdale not long after that.

The rest of the line between Drysdale and South Geelong has fallen into disuse. The Geelong Steam Preservation Society has not tried to extend their operations back to Leopold or South Geelong. Sections of the former route from Drysdale to South Geelong have been turned into the current Bellarine Rail Trail, a walking and bike track.
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Why? For the steam engines, for a fun day out with Santa and the Bellarine Railway
When: 6th, 13th and 20th December 11.00am
Phone: (03) 5258 2069
Where: Queenscliff Railway Station 20 Symonds Street Queenscliff
Cost: Adults $25.00, children 1 - 3 $16.00, children 4 - 17 $32.00
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