Sunday, June 29, 2008

Glen Waverley - Darling Steam Shuttle

On typical windy Wintry Sunday morning, the Liau family experienced a rare treat of train ride at the Glen Waverley train station operated by Steamrail Victoria, Inc. Barely 5 minutes after arriving at the platform, we spied the steam engine chugging down the train line. At the sight of the black engine, children and adults alike cheered and clapped with anticipation. Andrew was intrigued by the thick black smoke escaping from the chimney and the abundant of coal. As the steam engine comes to a halt, it was neat to see the old engine on one side of the tracks and the modern commuter train on the other.

K190 pulling into Glen Waverley

Alvin stormed through the doors of one of the coaches, hoping he was quick enough to get a booth to ourselves. We had underestimated the number of people who came to the ride. Most of the coaches were full, primarily with wide-eyed children, their parents and train enthusiasts. Lady Luck was on our side as we managed to secure one. Andrew immediately stuck his head out the window. "This is so cool," exclaimed Andrew.

Enjoying the view

However, Alex was intimidated by the black steam engine and stayed close to Alvin. As the train moved out of the station, Andrew's excitement was further heightened. He stuck his head even further out of the window and waved at the spectators. Alex remained close to his Daddy.

Steam and Electric side by side

Throughout the ride, we kept the windows open so that we can feel the cool breeze on our faces and smell the black soot! Andrew was insistent on keeping his head out the window for the whole ride. The ride to Darling was about 20 minutes. At Darling, the train switched tracks, picked up passengers and turned back towards Glen Waverley. On the way back, Alex could at least stand near the window and look out cautiously. Andrew proudly gave our tickets to the conductor when he stopped by. We will definitely ride this train again when they operate it next year.

Passengers waiting at Darling Station

Steamrail is a not-for-profit group dedicated to the restoration and operation of historic locomotives and rolling stock. They run numerous exciting tours guaranteed to excite railfans of all ages. Destinations include Geelong, Seymour, Maldon and Bacchus Marsh. Trip information and further details are available at Steamrail's website.