The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook
Narrow Gauge Railway

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Pages for all stations on this line have this colour as a background.

Stations on the line:

Upper Ferntree Gully | Upwey | Tecoma | Belgrave 1900

The Puffing Billy Railway

Belgrave 1962 | Selby | Water Tank - Landslide | Menzies Creek
Clematis | Emerald | Nobelius' Siding | Nobelius | Lakeside
Ballast Siding | Wright | Cockatoo | Fielder | Gembrook

Other locations.

The map on the left is part of the Victorian Railways' map published on 1/10/1943. I have included surrounding railways for reference. The map below shows the location of this line in relation to Melbourne.


It is easy to find the location of all the stations along this line as the line is in the Melbourne metropolitan area. The references are to the Melways Greater Melbourne Street Directory. The reference is of the form map number 74, page grid F5 as in 74 F5. With the exception of Belgrave station all the stations are in their original positions.

The gradient diagram is in two parts.

The Upper Ferntree Gully (UFTG) to Gembrook railway was built to provide transport for the farmers and timber millers in the area. It was opened on 18/12/1900, and closed in 30/4/1954. The section between UFTG and Belgrave was temporarily re-opened for tourist traffic until the 23/2/1958, when the section from UFTG to Belgrave was converted to 5'3" and electrified as an extension of Melbourne's suburban system.

By the 1930s the railway was doomed. As these early 1940's time-tables show the Victorian Railways were running busses in competition with their own trains. The railways did not see any point in developing the line for tourist traffic, even after the war.


When the line was opened safe working was by Train Staff and Ticket with one section. Only the staff stations Upper Ferntree Gully and Gembrook had signals. In 1910 Belgrave and Emerald were opened as temporary staff stations and provided with signals. Emerald became a permanent staff station in 1916.

As an experiment automatic signalling (Automatic and Track Control) was introduced between UFTG and Belgrave in 1921. Upwey was an unattended crossing station. This meant that Belgrave had to become a permanent staff station. Temporary staff stations were at Aura (later named Menzies Creek) and Cockatoo.

In 1930 the Automatic and Track Control system was withdrawn and the UFTG - Belgrave section reverted to Train staff and Ticket operation.

Currently the restored railway operates as a three section Staff and Ticket System with Belgrave, Menzies Creek, Lakeside and Gembrook as permanent staff stations. Emerald, Nobelius and Cockatoo are available as temporary staff stations. Nobelius, which has no crossing facilities, is only used in conjunction with Thomas the Tank Engine shuttle trips from Emerald to Nobelius. These shuttles have to run between the normal train trips.


The section Belgrave to Menzies Creek was restored by the PBPS in 1962. The section from Menzies Creek to Emerald was restored in 1965; from Emerald to Lakeside in 1975; and from Lakeside to Gembrook in October 1998.

My connection with Puffing Billy

I am proud to be one of the volunteers who keep this railway running. The Puffing Billy Railway has an excellent home- page with more of the history of this line. It is well worth visiting. Puffing Billy's Home Page.


A detailed history to 1953 is available on Puffing Billy's home page. (See the previous paragraph.)

Narrow Gauge Home Page. | All Stations

This page is maintained by Bill Russell Created: 8/09/1996 Last update: 11/7/2003