The Yarra Valley Railway is a unique olde world way to spend an hour or so when visiting Healesville.
On our trip we were lucky to have a fabulous conductor who entertained us with an interesting and amusing commentary. As we meandered down the track passing farms and bushland he highlighted points of interest and, much to the delight of kids on board, pointed out a group of well camouflaged kangaroos.
During the journey the train passes under a historic wooden road bridge then proceeds through a deep cutting before making its way through a brick lined tunnel that was built in 1865. The track only goes about 4 or 5 kilometres (taking about 15 minutes) before the train stops briefly and returns to Healesville Station.
The train - a Walker Rail Motor - is a great piece of history that apparently returned to the track in 2010 after a complete restoration. It's a single carriage that seats about thirty passengers. It departs on the hour 10am to 4pm Sundays and public holidays and on Wednesdays during school holiday. If you get to the station about 20 minutes early for your journey you can watch the train returning to the station (good photo op) and you'll also be in prime position to get on first and grab the best seats - which are up front next to the driver's cabin.
Fares, as at April 2017 were A$15, Ch$9, Conc$13 and Family (2plus2) $39. Tickets are sold at the station. The ticket office was also selling a small selection of train memorabilia when we were there. The station cafe wasn't open the afternoon we visited.
This piece of history is a credit to the volunteers who restore, maintain and operate the train and the railway. A ride on the train is a bit of fun and also a great way to support these guys and the restoration work they continue to do.
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