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Full steam ahead for Bellarine Railway upgrade


The Victorian Government is helping establish Drysdale station as a gateway for the Bellarine Railway's iconic steam engines with construction of a new and improved train depot now complete.

The new depot is part of stage one of the Bellarine Railway upgrades. The project is backed by a $300,000 investment from the Victorian Government.

Originally serving as a military railway line, the Bellarine Railway today offers unique experiences for visitors to step back in time into an era of steam-powered locomotives that used to travel across regional Victoria. The railway is operated by the Geelong Steam Preservation Society and travels between Drysdale and Queenscliff.

Stage one of the project is now complete with the railway depot in Drysdale giving Bellarine Railway services the option to now start their journeys at Drysdale station near Geelong. Additional rail infrastructure, power, water and fencing are also installed to improve the efficiency of the iconic railway.

The project will also deliver reduced running costs and positions the rail services near local businesses such as ferry services and accommodation to attract more visitors to the area.

The new depot will better serve trains like the iconic moving restaurant experience – The Q Train – which provides passengers with a unique range of local food and alcohol as they journey along the Bellarine Peninsula.

Other tourist attractions including rail-based music experience, The Blues Train, Heritage train rides and the kid-friendly Day Out with Thomas will also benefit from the railway upgrades.

The Victorian Government is supporting stage two of the Bellarine Railway project through $3.4 million from the Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round. The project is upgrading 16.5 kilometres of tracks between Drysdale and Queenscliff, to keep it operating for years to come.

The Regional Tourism Investment Fund forms part of the $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package from the $633 million Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan, a whole-of-state strategy with a goal of achieving $35 billion in annual visitor expenditure and supporting 300,000 jobs by June 2024.

This funding forms part of the Government’s more than $36 billion investment across regional and rural Victoria since 2015. For more information, visit Regional Tourism Investment Fund.