Puffing Billy

Today, we took a train ride on a heritage steam line near Melbourne, known as puffing Billy.

Travelling on Puffing Billy is a sort of Melbourne institution for kids. They go on the train, sit on the windowsill and hang their legs outside. I figured if it was good enough for the kids it was good enough for me. this means I’m either a really big kid or an idiot. I’ll let you decide.

After nine or 10 miles the train stops at a place called Lakeside which is really pretty.

When you travel on a heritage steam train, there’s this thing called a footplate ride, which is train geek speak for riding in the locomotive cab with the engineer and fireman. I’ve spent my life as a tour manager organising footplate rides for clients. I never get to go because the clients want to do it, and that’s the job. today there was a free space as not everyone wanted to go, and so I leapt on the opportunity like a starving dingo on a dozing wallaby. It was amazing.

Afterwards, on the way back into Melbourne, we stopped off at the Melbourne Cricket ground (MCG), a sort of Australian equivalent of Lords. There are statues of Dennis Lillee and Shane Warne. If you don’t know who they are, then you should be ashamed of yourself.

Tomorrow we drive the coast road. Photos will follow. Sleep well.

2 Replies to “Puffing Billy”

  1. Hi Tim, a few blogs ago you mentioned a trip where you will be tour manager. It was in Switzerland I think, looked really interesting, in August next year. Think it was about £1750 for one week. I have lost the name of it, please advise.


    Diana GREENHAM ….last met in Cambodia Feb 2020.


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