Wednesday, 6 September 2017

A Day on the Rails

In all the time we've lived in Melbourne, I had never been on a V/Line train.  So of course it was on the list along with riding the Victorian Goldfields Railway steam train.  Happy days - Scoopon (gotta love a bargain) put out a voucher for the VGR, so it was time to rope in a few participants and plan a day out.

Sunday 20 August dawned cold, but with a bit of sun.  Off I set onto my first train trip of the day - Brighton Beach to Southern Cross.  Scheduled meeting time 9.20am.  The Old Duck was the star when she turned up with a bottle of Bailey's.  Coffee duly fortified (for warmth of course), we boarded our V/Line train to Castlemaine.  Much flashier than the usual metro trains - woo hoo a tick off the list

Old Duck "topping up"
The trip was fun - possibly aided by the Bailey's - that sucker was never leaving the train in anything but our belly's. With Met Boy in charge of logistics and some info from a fellow passenger and train fanatic (who knew they were such a large/weird bunch) we soon pulled into Castlemaine.  And there she sat, puffing and steaming away (no not Carol, she was with us). 

Not enough time to do a quick tour of Castlemaine, (future trip) and it was all aboard the steam train.  Where to sit?  Open area near the dance floor or in a carriage?  Carriage it was.  Sofia (the only one not drinking Bailey's) ensured we were all accounted for and present by doing a roll call as we took off.  Now "took off" might indicate that we pulled out of the station with some speed.  Not quiet.  We rolled out at a very sedate pace, which is good because it gave us plenty of time to wave at all the people who had turned up to see us off.  OK, so maybe they were there to see the "crossing of the steam trains" but I like to believe we had a little posse of well wishers.

Our little party (Carol, Trace, Karen, B, Met Boy, Mon, Chris, Sofia and I), settled back to enjoy the ride, window's open as the scenery sped (slowly) by.  Toot Toot!  B hanging out the window as our official photographer for the day did an awesome job (bit worried about her toppling out - on account of her being a little top heavy) and we were soon pulling into Maldon.  Actually we were around 30 minutes late after a bit of stalling/rolling backwards along the way.  We did try singing "I think I can, I think I can" (The Little Engine that Could) to help urge her along - it helped.

Maldon. What a gorgeous little country town.  Not much time to have a good look around though, as the VGR people kindly gave us a lift to the Kangaroo Pub where we were having lunch.  Can't beat a good pub lunch (parma thanks) - well maybe you can with a good pub lunch followed by some snoozing in front of a fire with a bottle of red. 

Full, it was a quick look around town with a supply stop (OK and ice-cream) and back to the station.  Another lively trip back to Castelmaine.  Sprung pouring the next bottle of Bailey's that the Old Bag had smuggled aboard.  Did you know that there are people along the route that follow in cars?  How weird is that? They have a name - I'm sure Met Boy could fill you in.

By the time we got onto our V/Line train back to Melbourne, it was much quieter as we dozed a bit - that and it was busy so we had to spread out a bit. A Day on the Rails a great success.  Number of trains caught that day = 8.  Number of ticks = 2 - plus visited a new place (Maldon - can't count Castemaine as only really saw the station).

Tempted to go back and do the Murder on the Orient Express or Ales on Rails special trips.  And who knows, if I win the J535 Number Plate raffle, I could become one of those train "enthusiasts". 

Some Victorian Goldfields Railway info:
  • steam trains run Sundays and Wednesdays and some holiday Saturdays.
  • choose from one of 2 return trips from Maldon to Castlemaine OR one return trip from Castlemaine to Maldon.
  • regular event trains run on many Saturdays. See Upcoming Events on their website.

    B and Kaz

    
    The Olds  - my 1st V/Line trip
    Great pic B!

    
    No smoking

     

  • I want to drive a train
    
     
    Ticket Master

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