Southern Steam Spectacular itinerary

Cruise Express

Australian owned and operated
Wednesday 19th May
Melbourne – Ballarat : R711R761
Ballarat – Wycheproof : K153K190
Wycheproof – Sea Lake : K153 – the first K class to haul to Sea Lake in nearly 30 years

Thursday 20th May
Wycheproof – Maryborough : K153K190
Maryborough – Ballarat : Y112K153K190
Ballarat – Melbourne : R761K190

Friday 21st May
Melbourne mystery tour
Melbourne – Newport – Melbourne : D³ 639

Saturday 22nd May
Melbourne – Castlemaine : A² 986, R761
Castlemaine – Maldon : J549

Sunday 23rd May
Bendigo – Echuca : A² 986 – the first A² to haul solo from Bendigo to Echuca since 1963

Monday 24th May
Echuca – Bendigo : A² 986
Bendigo – Melbourne : A² 986, R761

Locomotive availability and roster is subject to change

Southern Steam Spectacular Itinerary

Date 2021City / Port
WED
19 MAY
Melbourne to Sea Lake – Board your train at Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station. Welcome to the Spectacular! Settle in as your train heads south to North Geelong where it swings right. You will soon pass over the spectacular Moorabool Viaduct. The 440-metre (1,440 ft) long bluestone and iron viaduct was opened in 1862 to carry the Geelong-Ballarat railway over the river valley. It remains in use today, having been reinforced with extra steel piers in 1918, to a design of Victorian Railways Engineer, Frederick Esling. Having passed through Gheringhap we will arrive in Ballarat.

We will stop in Ballarat for approximately one hour for a locomotive change before heading to historic Maryborough Station for a brief leg stretch. The train will then head into the country onto lines that no longer support regular passenger services. This will be the first time since 1970 that a Victorian K class locomotive has hauled to Sea Lake. At Wycheproof the line will veer right into the middle of the Calder Highway which runs right through town! This unusual arrangement is unique to only two towns in Australia, the other being Rockhampton. After a short technical stop, we will arrive in Sea Lake.

Transfer by coach to Swan Hill where the rest of your evening is at leisure.

Overnight: Swan Hill Resort or Comfort Inn Lady Augusta (or similar) – B,L

THU
20 MAY
Sea Lake / Wycheproof to Melbourne – After breakfast, we travel by coach back to Wycheproof. You will have a short amount of time to explore this charming little town and take photos of the spectacular sight of your train waiting for you right in the middle of the main street!

Board your train via stairs and then travel to Maryborough where we will stop for approximately one hour. This is your chance to see the 133 year old locomotive Y112 join the train for the short journey to Ballarat. Have your camera ready as we will now have three locomotives hauling our train! At Ballarat we will have another hour-long stop and another locomotive change before heading back to Melbourne via North Geelong. A mid-evening arrival is anticipated. Your hotel is located conveniently across the road from Southern Cross Station.

Overnight: Quality Hotel Batmans Hill on Collins (or similar) – B,L,D

FRI
21 MAY
Melbourne / Newport – This morning we return to Southern Cross Station for a short mystery tour before heading to the Newport Heritage Railway workshops. This facility is the home to Steamrail Victoria and 707 Operations Inc. You will have the unique opportunity to privately inspect the sheds and see up close the collection and maintenance facilities. A BBQ lunch will be provided by the Rotary Club of Williamstown before we re-board our train and return to Melbourne. The rest of your day and evening is at leisure.

Overnight: Quality Hotel Batmans Hill on Collins (or similar) – B,L

SAT
22 MAY
Melbourne to Castlemaine, Maldon and Bendigo – Today we head north passing through the Elphinstone Tunnel, 385 metres (1,263 ft) long, which was built in brick and bluestone as a double-track horseshoe profile tunnel and completed in 1860. Before our arrival at Castlemaine we will cross the giant Taradale Viaduct. This large wrought iron box girder bridge over Back Creek was erected as part of the Melbourne, Mount Alexander and Murray River Railway between 1858 and 1861, and was at the time one of the largest rail bridges built in Australia.

At Castlemaine, we will disembark and change trains for the Victorian Goldfields Railway. Heading west we hope (time permitting) to disembark at Muckleford where the train will reverse then run past the station allowing us to take photos. After re-boarding we will soon arrive at Maldon.

This spectacular goldfields town is a short walk from the station, retaining much of its original Edwardian character. You will have plenty of time to explore, shop and have lunch (own expense). Mid-afternoon return to the station where our coaches will be waiting to transfer us to Bendigo. After checking in the coaches will be on hand to transfer those who wish to explore Bendigo and have dinner in town (the hotel is approx. 1.5km from the CBD).

Overnight: Mercure Schaller Bendigo (or similar) – B

SUN
23 MAY
Bendigo to Echuca – This morning you will be free to explore as you wish. The coaches will be on hand to transfer you from the hotel to the station for our lunchtime departure, or you may wish to meet us there. Lunch today is at your own expense. Today we will make a little bit of history as this will be the first time in six decades that a Victorian A2 class locomotive has hauled a train to Echuca!

On arrival in Echuca we will disembark and transfer by coach to the nearby port where we will embark one of three Murray River paddle wheelers. Enjoy a two-hour cruise on the Murray with refreshments and beverages. After returning to the port we will transfer to our hotels for check-in. There is a small amount of time to explore as you wish before joining your fellow travellers for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Mercure or Quest Echuca (or similar) – B,D

MON
24 MAY
Echuca to Melbourne – After breakfast we transfer to the station to rejoin our train. We’ll travel back to Bendigo for a short stop to add an additional locomotive. Heading further south we will pass through the 390-metre-long (1,280 ft) Big Hill Tunnel which was completed in 1860, located between Kangaroo Flat and Ravenswood. Enjoy lunch aboard as we re-trace our journey to Melbourne and the end of our adventure. A mid to late afternoon arrival at Southern Cross Station is anticipated – B,L

 

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