Gippsland › Latest news › Harriet Shing MP
Puffing Billy tradition of sitting on window sills returns to the iconic heritage Victorian railway
The time-honoured tradition of sitting on the sills of Puffing Billy will make its long-awaited return to the iconic heritage railway from today.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today joined Member for Monbulk James Merlino and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing to relaunch the experience, which returns for the first time since March 2018. A drawcard for the Dandenong Ranges and broader Yarra Valley region, sitting on the sills will once again be allowed on trains running from Belgrave to Lakeside stations daily after operators implemented risk management processes to ensure its safe reintroduction.
Puffing Billy is chugging through the forest, rolling hills and open farmland with legs hanging over the side, after a short temporary suspension of this much-loved activity, Puffing Billy Railway is thrilled to bring back the time-honoured tradition of passengers sitting on the carriage sills!
Event to benefit local businesses
The return of the iconic experience will deliver significant benefits to local businesses as visitors get back to enjoying the things they love with family and friends. Managed by the Emerald Tourist Railway Board, the open-air steam train critically preserves Victoria's railway history and has provided countless memories over many generations.
It attracted around 500,000 visitors annually prior to the pandemic and was further strengthened as a tourist attraction via the recently opened state-of-the-art $24.8 million Lakeside Visitor Centre. The Lakeside Visitor Centre was backed by a $12.7 million commitment from the Andrews Labor Government and boasts world-class facilities for tourists, day-trippers and school groups alike.
It includes a range of dining options, featuring seasonal produce from across the Yarra Valley, as well as a hi-tech function space to host workshops, conferences, events and school excursions. For further information on the sitting on the skills experience and the railway's operations - including to book tickets, visit Puffing Billy website.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said, "There's no other railway experience like sitting on an open-side carriage as Puffing Billy winds through the Dandenong Ranges. This is great for tourism and local businesses in the region."
Member for Monbulk James Merlino said, "Puffing Billy is a much-loved favourite for tourists, day-trippers and school groups, and the return of sitting on the sills will ensure more visitors come to our region to experience all we have on offer."
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said, "Parents, grandparents, friends, and families with fond memories of sitting on the sills now have the chance to experience it again with a whole new generation."
Pictures from Harriet Shing MP Facebook page.
Published by: firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest NewsRenewable energy, hydrogen and the Gippsland Material Recovery Facility prioritised to help Latrobe City Energy Transition
Retaining wall renewal works for Cape Paterson boat ramp car park gets $110,000 funding as part of Bass Coast Shire open space renewal program
Controlled treated waste water releases into Tambo Bay will resume after school holidays spring 2022
Darren Chester re-secures $5M funding from previous federal government for World Sporting Precinct redevelopment in Bairnsdale
Labor federal government accused of enormous breach of trust in failing to deliver $5.9M promised to bushfire-impacted Sarsfield and Ensay
Victorian Labor and Coalition parties give election promises of extensive funding for both West Gippsland and Wonthaggi hospitals
Warragul Leisure Centre contract for $11M expansion from Victorian government's Changing Places program awarded
Andrews Labor government announces 'Water is Life' to allow traditional owners to access and manage water
Applications open for East Gippsland Youth Ambassador Program for young people aged living, studying or working in shire
Bushfire damaged remains of Thurra River Bridge and yet Andrews Labor government not sending tender out after nearly three years