Railways

Looking more. Can you ...

  • Find the coal miner?
  • Identify the water tank?
  • Remember the link between steam trains and the Easter Bunny?
  • Count the number of words on the panel?
  • Suggest a route for a future Bellarine Light Rail service?

Learning more. Do you know ...

  • Who runs the Bellarine Railway?
  • How long the first Geelong – Queenscliffe rail service stayed open?
  • When the Bellarine Railway started running trains between Drysdale and Queenscliff?
  • What happens on The Q Train?

Learning more

The Bellarine Railway is a not-for-profit registered charity that operates a steam-driven scenic railway service between Queenscliff and Drysdale. Trains run on most Sundays throughout the year and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the school holidays.

A place for you on the railway?

The Bellarine Railway is operated by volunteers from the Geelong Steam Preservation Society, which was formed in 1970. Volunteers’ many and varied jobs include maintaining the tracks and the locomotives, crewing the trains, restoring and maintaining the carriages, selling tickets and serving refreshments.

No matter what your skills, no offer of assistance is ever rejected!

Rail - part of the glass-related history of the Bellarine Peninsula

November 16 1959 saw the re-opening of the Geelong – Queenscliff line, connecting the Laker family's shell grit plant near Queenscliff with the Australian Glass Manufacturers (AGM) plant at Spotswood, Melbourne.

From Laker's Siding, just west of Point Lonsdale, up to 1,000 tons of shell grit was despatched each week to Spotswood, for use in glassmaking. A train ran weekly to Laker's Siding until 1973, when AGM changed suppliers. In 1976, Lakers siding closed.

The Geelong – Queenscliff line had opened in 1879, carrying passengers and freight. Passenger services ceased in 1931, due mainly to competition from bus lines. However, freight trains operated twice weekly on the line between 1931 and 1934, then weekly in 1934.

During Word War Two, the Railway was almost fully operational again; but after 1945, the weekly goods run was reduced to fortnightly; and after further declines in traffic, the line closed on May 13 1959 - only to re-open six months later running summer excursion trips until 1973. .

A revival!

The Bellarine Railway re-opened Lakers siding in 1979 and built a passenger station there in 2003. In 2007, the company started the “Lakers Project”, which has upgraded the platform at Lakers Siding and created a 150m rolling stock shed, enabling steam trains to take on water. In 2017, Lakers Siding became the Railway's main workshop, with heavy engineering moving there from the Queenscliff site.

The Railway receives regular visits by Thomas the Tank Engine and is host to The Blues Train and to the travelling restaurant The Q Train.

Oh - and the connection between steam trains and the Easter Bunny? The Bellarine Railway runs special services during the Easter holidays, with an Easter Bunny sitting at the front of the locomotive!

SOURCES

Relevant Organisations