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Yarra Valley Railway

Home > Melbourne > Trains | Railway Journeys | Kids | Fun Things To Do | Day Trips
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 June 4th 2013
All aboard
Healesville Railway platform

Take a journey on the Yarra Valley Railway starting from the Healesville Station, located at the back of the town for a leisurely 30 minute, 9km round trip through scenic country side.

We visited on the weekend and couldn't help but appreciate the volunteers who work so tirelessly restoring and improving the rail line so tourists and passengers can enjoy the trip from Healesville to Tunnel Hill.

Ticket window

Our train driver and signal men were locals to the area and shared their wealth of knowledge about local sights, the trains history and the restoration project, with such enthusiasm.

The lovely restored Healesville Station is where we purchased our cardboard tickets to board the little rail car or to be precise it's a 153HP Walker Rail Motor or RM22 with a Gardiner engine (Walker Bros Power unit.)

Towards the tunnel

After boarding the little train and the kids deciding on the best seats, they were set to go. I gave myself a mini tour of the train and was very tempted to sit in the little drivers cabin at the front, however the volunteers didn't look quite so enthusiastic at the thought of me driving the train. One can but try.

Kangaroos and horses

One volunteer came to check tickets and punch holes in them, which is very exciting for children. Then we were off with a toot, past the platform and over a road crossing. We passed lush paddocks filled with kangaroos and horses then passed under a bridge and through a cutting before going through a very old brick tunnel. On reaching Tunnel Hill the train can go no further as the tracks needs restoring, so with the ease of being able to drive the train from either end, the driver changes ends and then we're off again, back to the station.

Cute little rail car

Once we returned we were told about the different events held on the Yarra Valley Railway with the next being the Ghost Train. I'm told it's very popular and is held annually with the next being on October 25th & 26th. They also open for group tours but they need a minimum of 3 days notice, kids birthdays are also popular on the train.

Side of the train

History of the Yarra Valley Railway:

The rail line between Lilydale and Healesville opened in 1889, which carried timber, dairy, livestock, agricultural products and passengers. In 1893 there were three daily trains to Healesville. In May 1901 the Duke and Duchess of York boarded the train to Healesville.

The railway was also an important part of the construction of the Maroondah Dam in the 1920's to carry cement and other materials needed. The railway went into a steady decline after WWII as road transport became the preferred choice and eventually closed fully in 1980.

The track declined rapidly after it was closed and the Warburton line was removed.

After much restoration and hard work by volunteers the Healesville line, reopened to passengers on 17th July 2010. It has been 30 years since a regular timetabled passenger train has operated in the Yarra Valley.

The engine and driver's seat

The next phase of the restoration will be to fully restore the line between Healesville and Yarra Glen and eventually have a steam train in operation on the line.

To keep up to date with the progress of the railway have a look at Rail Page or Yarra Valley Railway.

Ticket prices are $39 for a family of 2 adults & 2 children, adults are $15, concession $13 and kids $9, 3 and under are free.

Trains run every Sunday, Public holidays and Wednesdays on school holidays, every hour between 10am - 4pm.

Train tracks needing restoration

In front of the train station is a great kids playground too, unfortunately it was raining when we visited, so the kids didn't get the chance to use it.

We had a great time on the little train and we hope you do too.
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Why? For a railway journey
When: Sundays 10-4 Public holidays and Wednesdays on school holidays
Phone: 03 59622490
Where: Healesville Station
Cost: $39 for a family of 4
Your Comment
Got excited and looked up the Ghost Train info - not running in 2013, boo hoo! :( Due to all the track works they are doing. Next year!
by Anita Coia (score: 2|477) 2651 days ago
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