On Tuesday 17th June the Creative Photography class went on an excursion to Puffing Billy in the soggy Dandenong Ranges. Twelve well rugged up souls made their way to the Puffing Billy (“Puff” for short) Railway station at Belgrave, where we were met by Fleur, who took us on an inspection tour through the locomotive workshop near the station.

Before we went in we were able to watch and photograph Puff shunting a string of carriages into the platform ready for the second train of the day.
The workshops housed 3 locomotives being repaired, and has a variety of heavy machines used for such repairs, including a lathe capable of turning 2m diameter wheels (that's 6ft in steam talk), a heavy hydraulic press, milling and grinding machines, and lots of different tools. We wandered through the workshop, snapping away, for about 45 minutes.

We then wandered back up the platform, photographed the train waiting there, then collected our cars and met again at the trestle bridge to photograph Puff as he went by. The driver made lots of steam just for us.

After that we headed for a level crossing to photograph the train again, but unfortunately we missed it. We did however capture another train that was going back towards Belgrave a short time later. We then drove just a little way to Menzies Creek station for some more snapping – quite a pretty spot and good for some more creative photography.

By then it was well past lunchtime, so we went a bit further along the road to the excellent Paradise Valley Hotel at Clematis, where we spent a pleasant hour or so chatting and eating before saying our goodbyes and heading back down the hill to Melbourne.

Photos and text by Jim Maunder.

Video by Mary Quarrell.

Web page by Stanley Barker