Australian Geographic - - Your Society -

THEPUFFING BILLY de­parts from the vil­lage of Bel­grave, about 40km east of Mel­bourne in the Dan­de­nong Ranges. Open daily ex­cept Christ­mas Day, the scenic jour­ney takes 90 min­utes. Built in the early 1900s, the Puff­ing Billy con­nected Bel­grave and Gem­brook (24km) and was ac­tive un­til a land­slide blocked the track in 1953, forc­ing its clo­sure. Ded­i­cated train his­to­ri­ans formed the Puff­ing Billy Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety, which led to the re­open­ing of the line in stages be­tween 1962 and 1998. The Puff­ing Billy is a gen­uine relic of more leisurely days, of­fer­ing a chance to step back in time as it trav­els through the tem­per­ate rain­for­est, sur­rounded by lush fern gul­lies and tow­er­ing moun­tain ash trees.

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