Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Zealand & Australia 9: Melbourne's Puffing Billy Train

I loved watching the ocean while we were at sea.  These are balconies for the high priced suites, a couple of decks below us.

I actually liked our arrangement better because it afforded us much
more privacy.

But, I digress.  In Melbourne, I had wanted to ride the narrow gauge steam train.

So, early the next morning, we found ourselves at the Puffing Billing train station near Melbourne.

Originally built to handle the timber and farming communities near Melbourne, the train operated for over 50 years before it ceased commercial operation in 1953

It is now operated and maintained mostly by an army of volunteer train enthusiasts and serves as popular tourist attraction.

Here our locomotive, a 2-6-2, one of five of its type, backs up to pick up a couple more coaches so that everyone who had purchased tickets could be accommodated.

The train was full of enthusiastic children, whose excitement was infectious.  We kept having to remind ourselves that they were on summer vacation here. 

The two coaches are being coupled to the rest.  One of the engine barns can be seen in the background.

Another one of the engineers.  This guy looked like he had an interesting story to tell.  I wondered what it was.

 I was surprised at the number of folks who sat with their feet hanging out the window.

'The brown haired lady directly in front of me holding the camera owns, with her husband, a construction company in Rapid City, South Dakota.

This young man didn't care that it had started to rain.  He wanted to see everything.  So did I, actually, but my camera got wet and I had to put it away.

Even though it was raining heavily when it was time to get off the train, Melony decided I needed my picture taken in front of it.

Unfortunately, rain drops made it to the lens before she was able to get her picture.

Next time, a sheep ranch outside of Melbourne.
Continue on to Post 10: Melbourne by clicking here.


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