Travelling on trains has always been one of my favourite things to do, so I was super excited to ride on the Victorian Colonial Express as part of the National Trust Heritage Festival 2017. This line was officially closed in 1976, however it is now preserved as a matter of national heritage. This was very special as these trains are rarely used anymore, so I knew we were in for a real treat.
Riding in a carriage from the 1880s, we were treated to an hour-long journey, from the historic town of Castlemaine in Victoria to the National Trust-declared ‘Notable Town’ Maldon. The train was so beautiful inside. However, it was the Central Victorian Landscape which was truly magical, winding through forests and open land and farms. This line would have been used in the past as the major form of transportation for Central Victoria before road transport was introduced. Volunteers are now responsible for maintaining this heritage line, crewing, and maintenance of the trains and stations.
Travelling at approximately 20km/hr, these trains are a distinctly different ride than the ‘sprinters’ I used to get to Castlemaine. The journey took just over an hour, allowing us nearly three hours to explore Maldon at our leisure.
Maldon is charming little town. We had lunch at the local pub and explored the little shops, including an amazing little lolly shop! There are cafes galore serving everything from Devonshire tea to raw vegan treats. Antique shops are everywhere for the bargain hunters and there is also a beautiful book store.
The only downside was we broke down on the journey to Maldon — but that allowed my plus one (dad) to quiz the drivers and look at the train in more detail!
Check out The Australian Heritage Festival (18 April to 21 May) for other heritage event details.