Tourist and heritage railways
Tourist and heritage railways make a valuable contribution to the social, cultural and economic fabric of Victoria. The railways attract tourism, benefiting local economies and communities.
The railways are run by non-profit groups who are mainly volunteers and rely on strong community involvement and support.
These groups restore, preserve and operate historical or heritage trains and trams. The sector has a combined income of $16.5 million a year and is supported by 3,500 volunteers and 42 paid employees.
If you are involved or interested in Victoria's tourist and heritage railways, you can view the latest edition and archived editions of the Tourist and Heritage Railway eNews.
The Tourist and Heritage Railways Act 2010 sets out a regulatory framework to promote the long-term viability of tourist and heritage railways in Victoria.
The Act and the Regulations came into effect on 1 October 2011.
The Act applies to 17 tourist and heritage railway groups that currently operate in Victoria:
- Alexandra Timber Tramway and Museum, which operates the Alexandra Timber Tramway
- Ballarat Tramway Museum
- Geelong Steam Preservation Society, which operates The Bellarine Railway
- The Bendigo Trust, which operates The Bendigo Tramways
- The Central Highlands Tourist Railway, which operates The Daylesford Spa Country Railway
- Diesel Electric Railmotor Preservation Association
- Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Association (Haddon)
- Mornington Railway Preservation Society, which operates The Mornington Railway
- Portland Cable Trams
- R707 Operations Inc, Vintage Rail Travel and the Locomotive Restoration Group
- Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway
- Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
- South Gippsland Tourist Railway, which operates The South Gippsland Railway
- Steamrail Victoria
- Castlemaine and Maldon Railway Preservation Society, which operates The Victorian Goldfields Railway
- Walhalla Goldfields Railway
- Yarra Valley Railway (Healesville)
The groups will benefit from the Voluntary Registration Scheme laid out in the Act. This will give a voice to the Tourist and Heritage Railway sector.
The Act does not apply to Puffing Billy, which operates under its own legislation: the Emerald Tourist Railway Act 1977.