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Walhalla Goldfields Railway

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Escape the City | Family | Fun Things To Do | Trains
by Lorraine A (subscribe)
Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published September 18th 2013
Take a ride on Victoria's most scenic railway
Walhalla Goldfields Railway

After winding your way through the tall trees from the Walhalla turn off, and going over the big Thomson Bridge, you may be able to spot the Walhalla Railway tracks on the right hand side as it follows the river.

This was a blessing in disguise as it took the focus off the winding roads just as the children were starting to feel ill.

A few corners up is the entrance to the Walhalla Railway.

Entrance gates to the train station

Through the white gate is the station and parking area, inside the station you will find lots of information on other train rides in Victoria and other states, along with historic facts about Walhalla with tourist information, souvenirs, drinks and snacks.

Inside the Walhalla station

The platform is a great place to view the train before boarding and if your lucky you may get the chance to have your photo taken in the engine bay or pull the rope whistle.

Walhalla Railway platform

Aboard the train it's immaculate and very comfortable. There are two carriages to choose between, one being slightly different to the other. We travelled in both to get the full experience and I recommend doing this. First class is comfortable and roomy. The carriage closest to the locomotive is great for taking photos as you can get right up to the back of the locomotive and stand on the outside platform.

Inside first class carriage

With everyone on board we set off down the rail line towards the Thomson Station passing another stationary locomotive and railway trolleys.

Another engine along the line

The train line follows Stringers Creek the entire length to the Thomson Station (about 4km). The scenery in my opinion is the best for any railway in Victoria.

About half way along the track you pass Happy Creek Station, with a small hut and sign. It was used as a temporary terminus of the railway during the renewal of bridges 1-6 (there are 8 wooden trestle bridges in total).

Happy Creek

Along further, the sight of the Thomson Bridge is spectacular and it's not surprising that it's heritage listed. The bridge is 92 metres long and 11 metres above the standard river height. If you're afraid of heights it's best not to look down.

Thomson Bridge

A hundred metres past the bridge brings you to the turn around point at Thomson Station. With 20 minutes before departing on the return journey it's a good chance to go down to the river and have a look under the bridge to see it from a different perspective. Alternatively you can purchase refreshments and sit and enjoy the view.

The return journey is just just as good or if not better. I stood on the outside platform behind the locomotive and it was a great experience to get up close to the cliff face on one side and have the creek on the other with lots of greenery.

The railway has quite a unique history, it was first proposed to be built when the gold mines were in peak operation in 1883 but it wasn't until much later on that it was approved by government and then completed in 1910. Unfortunately the mining operations started to slow and eventually closed in 1914 which lead to a rapid decline in population for the town. Passengers and freight continued to decline during the 1920's & 1930's and the train was reduced to one service a week. The line closed in 1944.

Thompson Bridge

The track was pulled up and the trees grew back as if the line had never been there.

Rebuilding of the rail line started in 1994 with volunteers working tirelessly to reopened the line in 2002.

Don't look down

If you would like to visit the Walhalla railway it is located approximately 185 kilometres from Melbourne and will take around 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive there. For directions click here.

If you don't have a car there are bus tours that go to Walhalla but there is no public transport.

The train

The Walhalla railway is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday with trains departing Walhalla at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Check the website for school and public holiday times.

Tickets cost $50 for a family and $20 for adult ticket (prices are return)

Train rides take approximately 60 minutes to complete.

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Why? A scenic train trip
When: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday @ 11am , 1pm and 3pm
Phone: 03 51656280
Where: Walhalla Rd, Walhalla
Cost: $50 family ticket, $20 adult
Your Comment
Another great article Lorraine, the scenery looks amazing !!
by Jen (score: 3|3574) 3235 days ago
Didn't even know this train experience existed. Thanks for bringing it to your readership's attention. Margot
by edcon (score: 0|8) 3545 days ago
Walhalla Railway Station itself is located in Hartwell on the Alamein line.
You can take the train for $3.50 every weekend or walk or ride your bike along the Outer Circle Anniversary Trail.
Hartwell is well serviced by local cafes and there are BBQ and picnic facilities at nearby Fordham Reserve. Unfortunately the toilets at the station are permanently closed.
by alesl (score: 2|147) 3544 days ago
The station known as Hartwell Railway Station is in Victoria. It was part of the Outer Circle Railway and opened under the name of Hartwell Hill on May 07, 1906.
It was named after nearby Hartwell House nad the name was changed to Hartwell on August 01 1909 when the original Hartwell Station changed its name to Burwood.
In December 1938 the station was enlarged when the beautiful station building from Walhalla was brought to Hartwell after the decline of that town led to the closure of the railway line from Moe to Walhalla.
Go to Walhalla to take a ride on the restored historic railway.
Go to Hartwell to see the historic station.
by alesl (score: 2|147) 3543 days ago
Walhalla railway is in the township of Walhalla 180 km east of Melbourne not in Hartwell.
by Lorraine A (score: 3|1646) 3543 days ago
by alesl (score: 2|147) 3543 days ago
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