Victorian Goldfields Railway

Fequently Asked Questions

What days do you run?

Trains run every Sunday and Wednesday plus additional days during school holidays and some public holidays [please check the timetable for details]. Event trains run on many Saturdays. Event trains need to be pre-booked and gift and discount vouchers are not valid for these trains. Our timetable is found here - Timetables

Where do the trains go?

Our trains run between Castlemaine and Maldon in Central Victoria

What station can I catch the train?

Return and one-way trips are available from both Castlemaine and Maldon Stations. Please note that the last service of the day from Castlemaine does not return.

How long does the trip take?

The 17 km trip takes about 50 minutes each way. Trains from Maldon spend ½ hr at Castlemaine. The train from Castlemaine spends 2 hours at Maldon.

How much does it cost?

All our fares are found here - Fares

Will there be a steam engine?

Except for summer we always endeavour to use a steam locomotive. However occasionally we do have to substitute a heritage diesel locomotive due to unavailability of steam locos or other operational requirements. Diesel locos are scheduled to haul most of our trains from December to end of February.

What if it is a day of total fire ban?

We normally do not run any services on a Total Fire Ban day in the North Central Region. Any other weather related restrictions will be posted on our website and our Facebook page.

Where are the stations?

Maldon station is in Hornsby St Maldon about 1km from the town centre on the main road to Bendigo. It’s an easy stroll into town but if you prefer, our courtesy bus is available to take you into the town centre and bring you back in time for the departing train.
View Maldon Railway Station in a larger map


At Castlemaine our trains operate from Platform 3 which can be found at the V/Line station, Kennedy Street, Castlemaine.
View Castlemaine Railway Station in a larger map


How do I get there from Melbourne?

By car:
Castlemaine is a 1 ¼ hour drive up the Calder Freeway (M79) from Melbourne. Turn off the freeway at Elphinstone onto the Pyrenees Hwy (B180) for the last few km to Castlemaine.
Maldon, Continue on the Calder Freeway to Fogarty’s Gap Road, turn left, follow through to Bendigo Rd and onto Maldon. The station is just before the township on the right hand side.

By V/line train:
For a really relaxing day out we encourage passengers to catch V/line trains from Southern Cross Station Melbourne to Castlemaine. Myki cards are valid for V/Line services to Castlemaine. It’s a frequent and fast service. Although not a common occurrence, we cannot guarantee a connection with V/line trains. Myki cards are valid for V/Line services to Castlemaine. We share Castlemaine station with V/line.

Where can I park the car?

Ample car parking is available at both stations, although on weekdays the Castlemaine car park in Kennedy Street can be busy with commuters’ cars. There is always parking available in Gingell Street Castlemaine.

Where do I get tickets?
Do I need to book in advance?

It is a good idea to book online in advance to ensure a seat particularly for First Class. Visit our Online Bookings Page

On running days tickets may be purchased at the VGR ticket windows on Platform 3 Castlemaine Station or Maldon station. They go on sale one hour before each departure. It is advisable to arrive at least ½ hour before departure to ensure a seat on the train.

Booking policy including cancellations is found in our Terms and Conditions.

What is the difference between first and excursion class?

We offer two types of travel experience:
Excursion class. Our historic wooden Excursion class carriages have family compartments with opening windows and plenty of room to move around. They are ideal for the family with children to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of travelling behind a steam train.

First Class offers an experience for couples and all those who wish to experience a little of the "Golden Age" of rail travel. A full bar and refreshment service as well as the observation carriage are features of our first class service. It is not suitable for young children.

Children’s Tickets

Children 16 years and under are entitled to child fares; children 3 years and under travel free.
We are unable to accommodate any children and infants 3 years and under in our First Class carriages for safety reasons. These age restrictions have been carefully considered in the interests of health and safety and the heritage design as well as our licence obligations.

How many people does a family ticket include?

Family tickets are available for excursion class only. A family ticket enables 1 adult and up to 4 children (4 -16 years inclusive) or 2 adults and up to 3 children (4 -16 years inclusive) to travel on a discounted fare. Children 3 years and under are free.

Can I bring a pram on the train?

First Class. Due to the heritage nature and design of the carriages, we cannot accommodate high chairs, prams or wheelchairs in our First Class carriages.

Excursion Class. Prams and pushers are easily catered for in the foyers of the excursion carriages and small strollers may be taken into carriage compartments if there is room available. Children are welcome in excursion class.

Am I entitled to a concession Fare?

Holders of Australian Government Health Care, Student, Seniors, Companion or Pensioner cards are eligible for concession fares. You will need to show your card when purchasing tickets or exchanging vouchers. Please note that Victorian free off-peak travel vouchers cannot be used on our railway.

Can I Upgrade?

Passengers may upgrade to FIRST CLASS travel on the day, (provided seats are available), by paying a supplement of $20 per person. Upgrades are not available to holders of promotional discount vouchers

I Have a Voucher or Online Booking.
I have a Gift Certificate

All pre-printed vouchers, bookings and gift certificates must be presented to the booking office and exchanged for valid travel tickets before departure. These are valid ONLY for our regular public operating days (Generally Sundays and Wednesday) and NOT for special event trains.

How can I get a group discount?

Generous group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more fare paying passengers paying in one transaction. They may be booked online

Is there Disabled and Wheelchair Access?

We have one excursion carriage especially modified to accommodate wheelchairs. It is used on most trains however it’s advisable to contact us a few days in advance, info@vgr.com.au to confirm it will be on your train.

Unfortunately we cannot accommodate wheelchairs in our first class carriages.

Maldon station has excellent access for wheelchairs and disabled passengers. Access to Castlemaine station is via stairs or a lengthy pathway and is not recommended for wheelchairs or disabled passengers.
Disabled access toilets are located at both Castlemaine and Maldon stations.

Can I take my Bicycle?

There is room for bicycles on our regular trains. They are carried at no charge but must be put into the guards van or other carriage vestibule as specified by the conductor.

Can I bring my Dog?

Assistance (Guide) dogs are the only dogs permitted in the first class carriages. Other dogs are generally allowed in the excursion carriages but it is at the discretion of the Station Master.

Are there refreshments on the train?
Can I bring my own food on board?

You are welcome to bring your own picnic and food to enjoy in the excursion carriages but BYO alcohol is not permitted on the railway. Soft drinks and sweets are available from our on board kiosk in excursion class on most Sunday trains.

First class has a fully equipped bar and serves light snacks. BYO food and drink are not permitted in First Class.

Can I ride with the driver?
I have a voucher to ride on the locomotive

We offer rides in the cab of the locomotive. An extra fare is payable in advance. Due to very high demand it’s advisable to pre-book by email info@vgr.com.au or phoning 03 5470 6658.

PLEASE NOTE: You need to wear suitable clothing including shirt, long trousers and enclosed shoes (no thongs). You must be physically fit, able to climb steps and stand if necessary. You will need to obey all reasonable directions of the driver. Travel may be refused by the driver if clothing, especially footwear, is deemed unsuitable, you are not physically fit or if there are other operational considerations.

How can I find out more?

The best way to contact us is an email to info@vgr.com.au

You can ring our office on (03) 5470 6658. You may be asked to leave a message as the office is not manned every day. We aim to return phone calls within 24 - 48 hours.