Friday, January 13, 2017

Puffin' Billy

Not far from Melbourne, is a steam train from the turn of the last century, Puffin' Billy. We signed on for the Steam and Cuisine lunch aboard.

Although the train(s) were clearly vintage, all the working parts were equally clearly modern made. The engine puffed along marvelously.

Here's a shot of the engine backing up to connect to the cars. This is done at each end. The engine disconnects from the passenger cars and shunts around to the other end and reconnects to pull the train back to the other end of the line.

The trip one-way took a bit over an hour to cover the distance to Lakeside. Our interest was lunch.

We had a delicious light lunch of cheese, charcuterie, and fruit. So, while we rolled along at a civilized pace through the Dandenong mountains, we enjoyed our plate with a glass of wine. Now, this is the way to travel! It is clear that speed has brought us an appreciation of getting to our destination. What we experienced was an immersion in the journey. This was wonderful.

We high class folks rode in one of the two dining cars at the back while the mere passengers rode in open air cars. As you can see, the children (I hope) rode with their arms and legs hanging out over the side.

There were, of course, more than one engine.

I think the images with the steam escaping from the engine were especially nice.

At the far end of the line, the engine has disconnected and moved on along the track until passed the switched and then came back on the parallel track to pass the train the other way and come back to connect to pull us back home.

Before we boarded for the return trip, one of the staff took a photo of us. All decked out in our formal finest!

On the return trip, the tables were set for coffee/tea and scones. Life in the lap of luxury. One curious thing I've noticed here is that you only get strawberry jam with scones. With all the wonder fruit available here, I find it a little curious that only strawberry is served with scones.