Drysdale Development Stage 1 - Update October 2023

Confirming the scope of works on the new shed funded under the Regional Development Victoria Project Stage 1 Grant is now complete. 

The Bellarine Railway will continue to enhance the visual amenity of the paddock site into the immediate future, with works continuing on:

  1. Creating environmental berms along fence lines that will be planted out and mulched with shrubs and trees indigenous to the peninsula. (tube stock sourced through local Landcare groups).
  2. Vegetation / garden maintenance
  3. Deconstructing deposited soil heaps.
  4. Finalising the tidy up of the precinct.
  5. Reconnecting rails in the turn table paddock


The Bellarine Railway is proud of these initiatives which form the basis for the success of our voluntary society and its continual sustainable regional tourism impact and growth. 

Drysdale Railway Precinct & Turntable Paddock enquiries please CLICK HERE

Drysdale Development Stage 1 - Update May 2023

Shed construction is now complete. The first post build inspection for occupancy revealed a couple of defects for remediation and council signoff. The most significant of these being water pressure for the fire suppression system, which initially failed CFA testing, plus reviewing drainage works along the corridor at the bike trail turn both up the hill and stormwater discharge points. Council and Bellarine Railway have worked collaboratively to improve the drainage and bike path, with the latter now having been freshly sealed.

Further, the last of the connecting rails to the shed has been positioned with safety mechanisms and interlocking devices added to the rail points. Ballasting of the rails into the shed roads will commence in early June. The adjoining fencing from the eastern paddock bike path corner up and around the siding and back to the shed has also been completed.

The landscaping and garden maintenance plus other components of work in the railway paddock will continue over time. The native shrubs planted along the length of the paddock will be complemented by further native plantings at the bottom of the paddock where the rail trail meets the housing fence line. An additional order for vegetation has been placed with Bellarine Catchment Network, with an emphasis on native shrubs that are indigenous to the area.

Final inspection, certification and sign off is scheduled for June 2023

The Bellarine Railway is proud of these initiatives which form the basis for the success of our voluntary society and its continual sustainable regional tourism growth and impact.

Stage 1 Drysdale Shed project enquiries please CLICK HERE

Drysdale Development Stage 1 - Update February 2023

Shed construction is now complete, with final stages of fit out and certifications being undertaken on the following items.

  1. Drainage & Sewer Connections complete
  2. Installation and connection of facility toilet and washup area complete with shed.
  3. Fire Hose Testing
  4. Emergency lighting and exit signage certification.
  5. Confirmed down pipe connection to approved LPOD – Station drains between 1 and 2 Road.
  6. Civil works on drainage adjacent shed at eastern end of paddock, pending final inspection and certification by design engineer.
  7. Water tank installed and connected.
  8. Connection of point / switch rail and road two in progress, awaiting certification of drainage under section 126 notice.
  9. Fencing at eastern end, installation dependant on rail connection from point / switch rail.
  10. Native vegetation planting along eastern side to commence when fencing complete.
  11. Mulching has started along northern fence line.

Works continue managing the following:

  1. Fence line vegetation maintenance – utilising the whipper snipper.
  2. Grass maintenance
  3. Tidying up of construction materials including neatly removing rail jewellery and maintaining stacked rail sleepers
  4. Moving heaped soil deposits into place towards eastern end of paddock – in progress and connected to finalisation of drain, point / switch rail and fence completion.

Finally, the railway remediation plan includes adding to the aesthetic of the site with significant planting of native shrubs.  For the most part the ongoing watering in has been successful with only a  couple of shrubs struggling to take hold along the northern fence line.

The Bellarine Railway is proud of these initiatives which form the basis for the success of our voluntary society and its continual sustainable regional tourism growth and impact.

Stage 1 Drysdale Shed project enquiries please CLICK HERE

Drysdale Development 2020 - Update 5 May 2021

The Geelong Steam Preservation Society, operators of The Bellarine Railway, are proud to announce that funding has been obtained through the Victorian State Government for the development of the Drysdale Railway Station Turntable area.

The project is also being jointly funded in conjunction with the City of Greater Geelong, Total Quality Solutions Pty Ltd (operators of The Q Train) and the Geelong Steam Preservation Society; who takes this opportunity to thank these stakeholders for their input and commitment. We also thank the support of Member for Bellarine – Lisa Neville MP, and local councillors Stephanie Asher and Jim Mason.

This Project will allow the Bellarine Railway (BR), to complete Stage 1 of the BR Rehabilitation Project, which sees development of the Turntable Paddock at Drysdale Railway Station. This will enhance the site, improve community access, and importantly provide a base for the principal Bellarine Railway service, The Q Train. The project is a critical part of a broader Bellarine Railway Development Plan that has identified works required to sustain and grow the Railway for the next ten years.

Drysdale Station is perfectly located beside Lake Lorne, and the current precinct is well presented and aesthetically pleasing, and this project will work towards establishing Drysdale station into a gateway for The Bellarine Railway at the Geelong end, and establishing the railway as a destination for persons visiting the region.

The Drysdale Station and Turntable area is currently seldom used by the Bellarine Railway or the community, and currently all passenger train operations on The Bellarine Railway, including The Blues Train and the Q Train; originate from Queenscliff or Lakers Siding. None originate from Drysdale.

The Q Train business model reverses this and many services will originate wholly from Drysdale once a depot is constructed, effectively changing the current trend, and logically making Queenscliff the terminus destination, rather than Drysdale. Establishment of the depot for The Q Train will result in the train being permanently based at Drysdale, therefore directly enhancing local tourism development and opportunities.

The Bellarine Vintage Machinery Group shall relocate to the site and hold steam and machinery rallies. Similarly, other groups may seek to conduct activities such as open-air Sunday markets, and the project will open opportunities for other local community groups to utilise the space. This ties in with the existing linkage and relationship between the Woodworkers group and The Bellarine Railway already at the site.

The project is in 8 key stages which are described in detail as follows:

  1. Site Preparation Levelling and Drainage
  2. Fence Site
  3. Construct Shed for The Q Train
  4. Construct Sidings & Points
  5. Power to Site & Connection
  6. Water to site
  7. Support Shed for Train Operations

The multi award winning Q Train is a restaurant experience in a moving train, and:

  • Is a unique tourism attractor to Victoria, The Bellarine, and the Greater Geelong region.
  • Has direct linkages with many other local businesses, accommodation providers and wineries, and many regional providores.
  • Is a critical revenue input stream for the GSPS, allowing BR to continue operating as a regional volunteer supported NFP heritage organisation. The Q Train currently provides a significant percentage of BR annual income, and this will expand with enhanced facilities, as more services are developed, and operating costs are minimised.
  • Provides employment for up to 28 people – full time, part time and casual, all from the Geelong Region.
  • Sources all its food, wine, produce and support services from The Geelong Region,
  • Provides a direct regional economic boost with resultant jobs creation.
  • Importantly, The Q Train allows local providers to directly showcase their products via inclusion of these in the train’s seasonal menus and wine lists – A true Paddock to Plate dining experience.

The Q Train linkages with Port Phillip Ferries, Sea Road ferries and Bellarine accommodation providers are also important factors in cementing this visitation growth to the Bellarine economic region.

The project commenced on 1 July 2020, with an anticipated completion in late 2021.

As of end of March 2021 the earthworks and fencing for the compound have been completed. We have had to wait several months for the new surface to compact and consolidate. The spate of rainfall did not help matters. We thank TQS and BVMG for their assistance in getting this work done, and a special thank you to Craig Elstone for his involvement and support.

The basing of trains at Drysdale has been met with much excitement from many people who are so glad that this development is occurring and putting new life into the area. Schedules for the train operations to and from Drysdale Station are envisaged to be practically the same as those that were normal pre-Covid. Being a tourist railway, operations generally occur between 0700 and 0100, with noise after 2200 at an absolute minimum, as we are always very mindful of our community impact. Naturally, safe operational practice must always be adhered too, in accordance with National Rail Safety Law. Timetables and schedules for services at Drysdale will be provided once available.

We anticipate that actual shed construction and trackwork will be started very shortly.

The Bellarine Railway is proud of these initiatives which form the basis for the success of the voluntary society and its continual regional tourism growth and impact.

Stage 1 Drysdale Shed project enquiries please CLICK HERE