Swan Bay Express

Swan Bay Express

Explore Australias Unique Rail History

Enjoy a scenic 45-minute train ride alongside the Bellarine’s picturesque Swan Bay.  Hauled by one of our 100 year old plus steam locomotives, take a step back in time and experience travelling in our beautifully restored heritage service timber carriages.  Our carriages are fully enclosed yet offer the time-honoured option of raising a window so you can fully immerse yourself and the family into the quintessential railway experience as your steam train gently moves through the changing landscape.

The Experience

Our volunteer Booking Officers will issue passengers with an Edmonson Ticket a souvenir of the trip, and offer a printed Lineside Guide and Spotto Activity Sheet for the kids – so make sure you check in at the booking office window before jumping on-board!

Fur passengers are welcome to travel with their families, providing they are friendly with fellow passengers and travel in the carriage allocated by our volunteers. Space may be limited and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Trains run on most Sundays year-round, most public holidays and extra days during school holidays.

To learn more about our current operating roster of locomotives, click here.

2024 Running Days

4, 9, 11, 14, 21, 28 July

4, 11, 18, 25 August

1, 8, 15 September


Trains depart from the historic Queenscliff Railway Station at 11:00am – 12:00pm – 2:15pm


Please note that The Swan Bay Express will be hauled by a heritage diesel locomotive from 15 July, while the steam locomotive receives its annual inspection.

Hire a Carriage, or Reserve a Compartment

We have options for families to reserve a compartment in some of our carriages, or reserve an entire carriage for larger bookings.

See below a snapshot of what carriages we have to offer, and please contact the railway to discuss how we can best meet your needs, and make a booking.


Pets Policy

The Bellarine Railway welcomes your fur friend to ride the train, and we will issue them with a complementary dog ticket to take home. There are a few important conditions to consider: All animals must be friendly with fellow passengers, and there are no facilities on the train or at the station for your pet if they need to go to the toilet etc. Pets can only travel in certain carriages, to isolate any potential allergens from other passengers. Please see our volunteers at the booking office to be guided to your compartment.

Terms and Conditions (click to expand)

Our trains depart from the Queenscliff Station: 20 Symonds (bottom of Hesse) Street, Queenscliff 3225 VIC

Pre-book tickets

  • Online bookings close at 10am on each train running day.
  • Tickets are not refundable unless the operator cancels the service outright.
  • When booking tickets you agree to receive an email requesting optional feedback after your visit, to give us valuable information on ways we can improve.
  • VOUCHERS: Booking requests for voucher holders are accepted by email within business hours. Alternatively, present the voucher at the gate, however, tickets are subject to availability. Please note that family tickets are excluded, as they are already discounted. Send email HERE

Companion Card holders

  • The Bellarine Railway accepts Companion Cards for the Swan Bay Express.
  • A companion is able to travel on the Swan By Express event free of charge when their client purchases an adult or concession ticket online.
  • To arrange a companion ticket, please forward the booking confirmation email, with a scan of the companion card HERE
  • Please note that email requests will only receive responses during business hours. On days when trains are running, our Booking Officers will be available at Queenscliff Station to assist you with any inquiries or requests in person.

Purchasing tickets on the day

  • Tickets may be purchased at Queenscliff Station unless sold out prior – please check with the booking officer for availability.
  • Any available tickets are sold to walk-up patrons on a first-come, first-served basis. No telephone bookings are possible. Cashless payments are preferred.
  • Pre-booked patrons must present their tickets at the booking office window before boarding the train, to confirm their arrival and collect the souvenir ticket(s).
  • Patrons arriving late, accept that they will be moved to the next scheduled service, however, this is subject to availability.

Toilets are located at Queenscliff Station, not onboard the train or at Lakers Siding.


Carriage seats

  • Currently, there are no allocated carriages or seats, we reserve the right to ask to share ‘sets’ of seats, to accommodate fellow passengers.
  • Patrons are advised that our heritage carriages may not be accessible to all wheelchairs, depending on the width of the chair.
  • We recommend calling 5258 2069 during business hours (at least 48 hours prior) to discuss how we can best meet your needs. Wheelchair users may ride with the Guard, however, space may be subject to availability.

Photography & Videos

  • From time to time The Bellarine Railway carries out photography and/or video recording which may feature visitors on its premises. By booking, you agree that The Bellarine Railway may use such images in perpetuity in any promotional, advertising or publicity material in any format whatsoever. You further agree that copyright in these materials rests with The Bellarine Railway.


  • Service timetables, calendars, motive power (steam/diesel), and fares may be altered with little or no advance notice.
  • We reserve the right to operate the scheduled service with a diesel locomotive due to maintenance requirements, Other reasons may include but are not limited to unforeseen circumstances and on days of Total Fire Ban. On days of extreme weather, we also reserve the right to cancel the day’s service.

Changing Train Date/Service

  • Tickets are non-refundable unless the operator cancels the service outright.
  • Requests for day-of-travel changes will only be considered when received via email – HERE – no less than, 48 hours before the pre-booked date.

Passenger Fares


Adult : $18.50

Concession : $16.50

Child : $14.50

Family 1 (2 Adults / 2 Children) : $58

Family 2 (2 Adults / 2 Children) : $68.55

Compartment Reservation : $110.73


*Family 1 = 2 adults and 2 children, Family 2 = 2 adults and 3 children

Toddlers/babies 0-3 years do not require a ticket for this service. Online bookings close at 10am on each running day, with tickets available at the gate, unless sold out prior and all sessions depart Queenscliff Station.

While the advertised service is generally hauled by a steam locomotive, we reserve the right to use a diesel locomotive, on days of Total Fire Ban and when repair and maintenance are needed.

By booking tickets you confirm that you have read and accepted the service information, requirements, disclaimers, fees and terms detailed on this page.

Carriages – A wide Variety!


The Bellarine Railway is home to a large collection of carriages from all over Australias 20th century railway system, and therefore offers carriages of many different shapes and sizes for you to ride in! Each day is different, and varies due to operational needs, but generally we operate:

Queensland Compartment Carriages

These carriages have a door either side and a full width seat, but have no partitions between seats – meaning that behind your seat there will be another row. We have two of these carriages (numbered BU465 and BUV1299), and they are a good option for bookings of 7-10 people where you do not mind the hustle and bustle of a carriage of other passengers.

Tasmanian Saloon Carriages

We have four Tasmanian saloon carriages, which are an open style carriage with an isle down the middle. Generally we will have one of these on the Swan Bay Express (numbered AAL9), which features smaller ‘booths’ of two or four seats. The other three (numbered AAR1, AAR4, BBL10) are similar, though have more seats and booths seating four. These carriages seat are a popular option for carriage hires but must be arranged prior.

Tasmanian Compartment Carriages

These carriages have fully enclosed compartments, with a door either side and a full width seat. We have two of these carriages (numbered ABL14 and BBL6), and they are perfect for a family booking whereby you wish to ride in your own compartment, away from other passengers. Each compartment can seat 6-8 people.