Trail Open

Ringwood Belgrave Railway Trail

Victoria - Melbourne region

3.2 based on 5 reviews
Location: Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, 40km east of Melbourne
Length: 12.5 km
Surface: Sealed
Start / End: Bayswater to Belgrave
Public Transport: Bus, Train
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • PramsPrams
  • Scooters and Inline SkatesScooters and Inline Skates
  • WalkingWalking
  • WheelchairsWheelchairs

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway

DETAILS

Why visit the Ringwood Belgrave Railway Trail?

This trail is part of walking/cycling trail that mostly follows the railway from Ringwood. The map shows where the trail starts at the Dandenong creek trail.

Attractions

  • Puffing Billy – a narrow gauge railway
  • Historic narrow gauge formations near Belgrave.

Trail Guide

Running beside the suburban railway line from Bayswater to Belgrave in the Dandenong Ranges, this trail follows the historic route of Puffing Billy, which ran as a narrow gauge railway from Upper Ferntree Gully until it was replaced with the extension of the suburban electric system to Belgrave in 1962.

There is a gentle climb to the base of the Dandenongs.

Note: There are some short road sections near Upwey and Tecoma.

Section Guides

From Belgrave, the trail curves through bushland. Listen for bellbirds over the noise of traffic. The embankments where the trail loops away from the electric line are remnants of the original railway.

At Tecoma, turn right into McNicol Rd and left into Campbell St. The trail continues at the end of the street.

At Glenfern Rd, the trail leaves the railway to run beside Burwood Highway until Main St, where it rejoins the railway.

The trail continues to Burwood Highway in Upper Ferntree Gully. Follow the footpath to cross at the lights. A gravel trail continues on the other side of the road, once again on the original narrow gauge railway formation.

At Upper Ferntree Gully Station, Puffing Billy once used the northern platform, now used by electric trains.

Return to Belgrave by train or continue along the bike path towards Ringwood.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Tableland Yidinji people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Rail Line History

The narrow gauge (2’6″) line to Gembrook was opened in 1900, connecting with regular broad gauge trains at Upper Ferntree Gully. The little train soon became known as Puffing Billy. The line mainly carried passengers, timber and potatoes. The narrow gauge line was cheaper to build than a regular railway but because of the cost of transferring goods to the broad gauge, it never made a profit.

A landslip at Selby in 1953 prompted closure. The Puffing Billy Preservation Society was formed and persuaded the Victorian Railways to reopen the line as far as Belgrave with a weekend tourist service.

After electrification of the suburban line to Belgrave, volunteers worked to restore the disused and overgrown line beyond Belgrave. A diversion was created near Selby, and it reopened to Menzies Creek in 1962, Emerald in 1965, Emerald Lake in 1975, and finally Gembrook in 1998.

PHOTOS

SERVICES

No services listed for this rail trail.

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REVIEWS

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5 reviews of “Ringwood Belgrave Railway Trail”

I would not even call this a rail trail. It’s a collection of shared pathways that do not connect, being passed off as a rail trail. Signage is poor and there are too many intersections/roads/carparks to navigate to make this enjoyable. I won’t be riding it again. Make sure you have looked on the rail trail map beforehand or use a navigation device with a map, so you know exactly where to go.

11/27. Number 11 railtrail completed on my quest to ride everyone in Victoria this year. A short one and all downhill from Blegrave to Upper Fern Tree Gully, and then onto Bayswater. The section to UFTG is a little hard to follow at times when it suddenly vears off to run alongside Burwood Hwy, and there should be more signage in better places along here. But after negotiating the station car park at UFTG, it is easy to follow. I have ridden this section dozens of times, and it has much improved since the rail crossing works at Bayswater delivered an upgrade to the rail trail as well.
You can follow my other rail trail exploits on FB Warwick Duncan – The 2nd Chance Man or Insta @warwick_rides.

Had an enjoyable Saturday morning ride out to Belgrave from home in Blackburn North. Fantastic trail because of its easy linkages to the metropolitan path network. I’d argue that except for the fantastic part winding through the bush from Tecoma to Belgrave it’s not really a rail trail (where you follow the old gauge) more a track that flows alongside what is one of Melbourne’s busiest suburban train lines.

The major issues I have with the trail are the gaps where you have to find your way through intersections which are pretty busy and not helped by the major problem of a lack of signage to direct. I think with decent signage you could more easily forgive the gaps and it would also make drivers aware of cyclists too at some seriously busy intersections.

The positives though are Belgrave is a lovely place to get to and have a coffee or lunch before returning. The return is probably the most spectacular scenery in that you look back over Melbourne’s eastern suburbs all the way to the Bay – you are descending too which is a lovely reward for the steady uphill (and some really nasty pinches) that you achieved getting to Belgrave.

I rode this trail this afternoon (Sunday 1st March 2015) – this is a good rail trail in Melbourne, the surface is almost completely sealed the whole way, so any bicycle will be able to ride it – and I saw a number of riders on road bikes that appeared to have no problems. I found there were two major issues with this trail – firstly at Upper Ferntree Gully the track crossing Burwood highway and going under the rail bridge is very poor quality – to be honest, I believe it is better to cross to the other side of Burwood highway at the station and ride up the service lane. The second problem is you need to transverse through both Boronia and Ferntree Gully stations’ carparks. Drivers are not on the lookout for riders – so be careful (especially at Boronia Junction). The section between Upwey and Belgrave has some steep climbs up small hills – which can be. All in all, a very good trail.

This a great little trail for railway history buffs. Near Tecoma you get to ride or walk on the original narrow gauge embankments which were bypassed when the line was rebuilt in broad gauge.

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