Best Short Train Rides for Kids in and Around Melbourne

By: Katie Oliveira da Silveira, ellaslist

There comes a point for many parents when nothing, and we mean nothing, stacks up next to a train. The house is full of ‘choo-choos’, the sight of a railway crossing sends them into a frenzy and Thomas the Tank Engine is about as cool as it gets. It’s a good thing that Melbourne and its surrounds have plenty of short train rides for little enthusiasts to enjoy. Here are some of our favourites.

1. Diamond Valley Railway

This favourite not-for-profit railway is the proud bushland home to a number of miniature trains that will thrill railway aficionados of any age. Key features of the Diamond Valley experience are the 65-metre station, bridges, tunnels, signal boxes, carriage workshops and a track of 1.2 kilometres.

Each year on the Queens Birthday weekend, the teddy bears invade! Kids are invited to bring along their best ted to enjoy a train ride – and best of all, kids and teds ride for FREE!

Plan to stay a while here, there are two adventure playgrounds on site and some lovely walking tracks to explore after your train ride. Trains run every Sunday between 11am and 5pm.
Where: Eltham Lower Park, Eltham
Cost: $3 for person
More info: see the website

Diamond Valley Railway

2. Little Red Train

Head down to Werribee with the kids and get totally off track. Literally. Little Red Train is one of the only trackless train rides around town. It is a scaled down, electric version of a steam train complete with bench-style seating and a roof. The circuit is 1.1 kilometres and takes around 9 minutes to complete.

With your Little Red Train ticket, you also get free access to the gorgeous Werribee Park. So pack for the day and enjoy the surrounds.
Where: Werribee, Wheelers Hill and Berwick
Cost: $5 person
More info: see the website

Little Red Train Werribee

3. Box Hill Miniature Steam Railway

Located in lovely Elgar Park, this 1.24 kilometre track will not only thrill little ones, but seasoned train lovers. Most of the trains at Box Hill Miniature Steam Railway are still steam powered, but kids can get an up-close look at petrol, electric and diesel trains here as well.

Running times are usually between 11am and 4pm on selected public running days. See the website for a full list of upcoming public days so that you can plan ahead.
Where: Elgar Rd & Belmore Rd, Mont Albert North
Cost: $3 per person
More info: see the website

Box Hill Miniature Steam Railway

4. Cobden Miniature Railway

The Cobden Miniature Railway is found a few hour’s drive out of the city and is a great option if you are heading towards the Bellarine Peninsula for the day.

Train rides are around 10 minutes in duration along a 1.8 kilometre track. Kids are treated to tunnels, an overpass, a bridge and two stations.

Cobden Miniature Railway is open on the third Sunday of every month from 11am – 4pm. Note that the park is always open on Sundays that fall within school holidays.
Where: Graylands Street, Cobden
Cost: $2.50 per person
More info: see the website

Cobden Miniature Railway

5. Como Gardens Miniature Railway

This charming miniature train ride, that only operates a few times each year, takes its passengers around the lush surrounds of Como Gardens, along 650 metres of track and over three trestle bridges.

The short train rides around Como Gardens make use of both steam and diesel locomotives, and they operate on select weekends throughout the year. Contact the Como Gardens to find out more.
Where: 79 Basin-Olinda Rd, The Basin
Cost: Adults $2, children $1
More info: see the website

6. The City Loop Train

For the thrill of a real underground metro train, that doesn’t take too long, grab a Myki ticket for you and the kids and get aboard a city loop train in Melbourne’s CBD.

City loop trains run constantly throughout the day and stop at Southern Cross Station, Flagstaff (closed weekends), Melbourne Central, Parliament and Flinders St. The beauty of this short train ride is that you can jump off at any stop and be only seconds away from the myriad shops, sights, sounds and tastes the city has to offer.
Where: Melbourne CBD
Cost: Adults $6, children $3, under four years ride for FREE
More info: see the website

Melbourne City Loop Train

7. A Day Out With Thomas @ Queenscliff Station

Got little Thomas the Tank Engine nuts in your home? Does the cry, “choo choo!” echo through your house day-in, day-out? Well, we have good news for you. Thomas and friends are returning to the Queenscliff Station this spring for a special 2-day event. Little and old Thomas fans can look forward to unlimited train rides with Thomas and 45 minutes train rides with Friends of Thomas and plenty of other fun activities as well.  Check out the full details here

Tickets go on sale on 1 June 2017 here

What you need to know

Where: The Bellarine Railway, Queenscliff Railway Station, 20 Symonds Street, Queenscliff, Victoria

When: 7 – 8 October 2017

Train sessions: 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, or 2.30pm

Cost:  Adults (18 years+) - $25, Child  (4-17 years) - $25, Toddler (1-3 years) - $13, Baby (11 months and under) - FREE, Family passes are also available

For more information: see website 


For all those Thomas the Tank Engine fans wanting a little more, A Day Out With Thomas is also returning to Gembrook’s Station this spring. Puffing Billy Railway will be rolling in Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends this October and November. Exact dates are yet to be confirmed. However, Thomas fans can look forward to 35 minute train ride with Thomas, Percy and Diesel, jumping castles, animal nursery and lots of photo opportunities. 

Stay tuned for more details. 

What you need to know

Where: Main Road, Gembrook Station, Gembrook, Vic, 3783

When: To be confirmed

For more information: see website 





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