All young kids like Thomas and his friends. Melbourne is bursting to the seams with train related activities. There are an array of playgrounds with train themes. Here are some of the best.
Marie Wallace Bayswater Park, Bayswater (our personal favourite which has a D3 666 steam train under a roof)
Windsor Siding, Union St, Windsor
Train Street Park, Train Street, Highett (it must be good if they named the street "Train Street")
If the kids find playground trains a bit too static, then head off for a ride on a real steam or miniature train. Rides are generally held on different days of the month.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Little Red Train (Werribee Park in Werribee South)
Every weekend, public holiday and school holidays (except winter).
Little Red Train (Wilson Botanic Park in Berwick)
Every Sunday of the month
Diamond Valley Miniature Railway (our personal favourite)
Campbelltown Miniature Passenger Railway
Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club in Scoresby
Yarra Valley Tourist Railway
Bellarine Railway (occasional Friends of Thomas days)
First Sunday of the month
Mornington Tourist Railway
Portarlington Miniature Railway
The Steam Locomotive Society of Victoria in Moorabbin (except January)
Second Sunday of the month
Mornington Tourist Railway
Third Sunday of the month
Altona Miniature Railway
Box Hill Miniature Steam Railway Society
Bulla Hill Railway
Mornington Tourist Railway
Portarlington Miniature Railway
Springvale Live Steamers Model Railway
Fourth Sunday of the month
Mooroolbark & District Miniature Railway & Steam Club
Other places where train spotting might reap some rewards are:
Fairy Park (Huge model train set and a Train Museum)
Myuna Farm (Farm tour train rides available)
Caribbean Gardens, Scoresby (Be prepared to have your teeth rattled loose on the train ride)
Luna Park (Ghost train & Scenic Railway)
Eildon Street, Doncaster Playground (Willy Wonka Train)
Narallah Grove, Box Hill North Playground (Wooden Train)
Gembrook Leisure Park, Gembrook (Wooden train with carriages)
Madeline St, Glen Iris Playground (Small train and carriage)
Blue Hills Av, Mount Waverley Playground (Equipment in shape of Thomas)
Boyd Park, Wahroongaa Rd, Murrumbeena Playground (Train shaped play area)
Emerald Lake Model Railway (Huge model railway)
Hansen Reserve, Parkview Street, Airport West Playground (Playground with Train Theme)
Albany Crescent Reserve, Albany Crescent, Aspendale Playground (Playground with Train Theme)
Banksia Reserve Playground, Tramway Parade, Beaumaris Playground (Train Play Equipment)
Central Park, Colby Drive, Belgrave Heights Playground (Train Play Equipment)
Dega Avenue, Bentleigh East Playground (Wooden train)
Elgar Park, Belmore Road, Box Hill North Playground (Wooden Train with carriage)
Green Street, Bulla Playground (Train Play Equipment)
Kilvington Drive, Emerald Playground (Train Play Equipment)
Cnr Myrtle Rd and Sargood St, Hampton Playground (Wooden Train and Carriages)
Hartwell Station Reserve, Camberwell Playground (Train with Carriage)
Apex Park, Glenfern Road, Healesville Playground (Train theme)
Bergen Reserve, Bergen St, Keysborough Playground (Slight Train Theme)
Lakeside Picnic Area, Two Bays Road, Mount Eliza Playground (Train Theme)
Boyd Park, Wahroongaa Rd, Murrumbeena Playground (Train with Carriages)
Argo Reserve, Argo Street, South Yarra Playground (Partial train Theme)
Warrandyte Federation Playspace, Yarra Street, Warrandyte Playground (Train and Carriage)
Conquest Park, Conquest Drive, Werribee Playground (Train with carriage)
Scienceworks in Spotswood run "Machines in Action Family Days" several times each year where a Z526 steam locomotive is on display together with some traction engines. Normally there are model steam train rides available.
Steamrail Victoria has vintage trains which operate to destinations throughout the state including some trips on Melbourne's mainline tracks.
If you are feeling peckish after all this steaming action, then head to Carriage Café in Seville for a bite to eat in the restored 100 year old train carriage.
For the die-hard train fanatics or those on holidays, try the following outside Melbourne
Alexandra Timber Tramway (Second and fourth Sundays of the month)
Ballarat Tramway Museum (Saturdays, Sundays, Public and School holidays)
Bendigo Tramways (Daily)
Cobden Miniature Railway (Third Sunday of the month as well as all Sundays during School holidays)
Daylesford Spa Country Railway (Multiple trips every Sunday)
Campaspe Valley Railway (Echuca) (First Sunday of the month, Mar-Dec)
Loddon Miniature Steam Train Rides (Eddington) (Fourth Sunday of the Month, April-October)
Elmore Miniature Railway (Saturday and Sundays and all school holidays)
Euroa Miniature Railway (Fourth Sunday of the month)
Clarkeville Miniature Railway (Forge Creek) (First Sunday of the month)
Hamilton Miniature Railway (Every Sunday)
Wimmera Miniature Train Rides (Horsham) (Second Sunday of the month)
Kerrisdale Mountain Railway & Museum (Thursday - Monday)
Emerald Bank Adventure Park (Kialla) (Second and Fourth Sunday of the month)
Moama Bridge Miniature Railway (Weekends, public holidays and School holidays )
KidsTown Adventure Playground (Mooroopna) (Every weekend, public holiday and Victorian School holiday)
Portland Cable Trams (Every day)
Red Cliff Historical Steam Railway (First Sunday of the month, on Easter Saturday and the Sundays of the Labour Day and Queens Birthday long weekends. Does not operate in Jan and Feb)
South Gippsland Tourist Railway (Most Sundays, some Public Holidays and every Wednesday during School holidays)
Gippsland Model Engineering Society Railway (Traralgon) (Fourth Sunday of each month, Feb-Nov)
Victorian Goldfields Railway (Most Sundays and Wednesdays and some Saturdays)
Walhalla Goldfields Railway (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday plus some other days)
Lake Hume Engineers Miniature Railway (Wodonga) (Third Sunday of the month excluding January)
A number of steam trains have been restored by dedicated volunteers and displayed to the public. Check out these locations:
- The North Williamstown Railway Museum at Newport has the largest collection of Victorian Railways steam locomotives on display. This place rocks (and steams) for any train enthusiast.
- There are some steam trains on display and under refurbishment at the Maldon train station on the Victorian Goldfields Railway.
- There is a steam locomotive at Apex Park in Hamilton which you can climb aboard.
- There is a steam train on display in the main street of Yarragon in west Gippsland.
- Have a look around the Moorooduc station on the Mornington Tourist Railway and you should be able to find some trains in various states of restoration.
- A K167 Steam Train is displayed together with a guards van on a siding which radiates from the turntable at Wycheproof railway station.
- A K169 train and several carriages are displayed at a recreated station scene at the Coal Creek Village in Korumburra. Live steam is piped to the whistle and cylinder drain cocks to give the impression of the K169 being ready to depart the station. Unfortunately it never has! (but if you believe in magic it might just pull out of the station with steam blowing into the air)
- There is a K class train engine which is surrounded by a fence (access to the train is not allowed) at Jaycee Park in Mildura.
- A Vintage Display Park in Numurkah has a full size K181 train locomotive beside a faux railway station which provides access to the cabin.
- Climb aboard the K192 steam locomotive at the State Coal Mine in Wonthaggi which utilised the local coal to operate.
- A J507 locomotive is on display at a lakeside park in Mulwala, NSW
- A J524 class steam locomotive is on display at the Donald Train Park to recognize the importance of rail to Donald. For a long time Donald was a very large rail centre where trains refueled and drivers changed over on the long trip between Melbourne and Mildura.
- To celebrate the central role of the railway in the development of Dimboola, a J539, an oil-burning locomotive, is on display at Apex Park in Dimboola.
- There is a full size A2 class locomotive at Edwardes Lake Park in Reservoir (which has a very nice playground for added value).
- The highlight of the train themed playground in Seymour is a D3 684 locomotive.
- Grimwade Park in Lismore is dominated by the D3 671 locomotive on display. Unfortunately the train is fenced off and rides in the cabin are not possible.
- There is a D3 653 locomotive on display at the entrance to the Ballarat North workshops which provide maintenance services to a number of Victorian Railway operators. Put 600 Creswick Road, Ballarat in the GPS to make a bee-line for this train which is resplendent in maroon livery.
- A D3 640 train is displayed within the grounds of the Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement.
If little Johnny is interested in other transport related activities then steam on over to the top menu and select Transport under To Do.