Yarra Valley Railway

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Yarra Valley Railway
Type Tourist railway
Termini Healesville
Completed 1888
Closed 1983

The Yarra Valley Railway is a Heritage railway operating on a section of the former Healesville railway which operated between Lilydale and Healesville in the Yarra Valley area northeast of Melbourne, Australia.


The Lilydale-Melbourne railway was extended from Lilydale to Yarra Flats (now known as Yarra Glen) on the 15 May 1888 with intermediate stations at Coldstream and Yering. Part of the structure included a long timber viaduct with 502 openings near Yarra Glen, spanning the Yarra River and the adjacent flood plains. The extension of the line from Yarra Glen to Healesville required a 1 in 40 (2.5%) climb into a 154.4 metre tunnel with a corresponding descent at nearly the same grade. The Healesville Station opened on 1 March 1889 with an intermediate station at Tarrawarra.

Traffic on the line included timber, livestock, milk and dairy products. Early timetables included regular goods services specifically for transporting milk.

The last regular steam passenger service was hauled in August, 1964. From this time until closure of the line in 1980 passenger services were run using Rail Motors. After 9 December 1980 no services operated beyond Coldstream and the line was officially closed to all traffic on 10 March 1983. It was partially reopened as far as Yarra Glen for tourism purposes in 1986 following major bridgework. However, these services ceased by 1990.

Current operations[edit]

The railway is currently running a Walker Railmotor RM22 from Healesville to the Tarrawarra Winery, crossing the Watts River, under the Donovan's Road overbridge and through the historic tunnel.

On the 17 July 2010 the official launch of the Walker Railmotor service occurred with the first passenger service to leave Healesville Railway Station in over 30 years. Future goals include reconstruction to Yarra Glen and Lilydale. During major bushfires in February 2009, the line suffered the loss of several large and small trestle bridges, both on the operating and non operating section.


The railway is in possession of a number of locomotives and carriages, including the following:


Number Image Year built Builder Status Notes
J516 1954 Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire Stored Victorian Railways J class coal-burning steam locomotive. Was plinthed in a park in Greensborough from 1975 until being acquired by YVTR in 1990. Stored at Healesville for possible future restoration.[1]
J541 J541 VGR YVTR Castlemaine.JPG 1954 Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire Overhaul Victorian Railways J class oil-burning steam locomotive. Privately owned by a group including the YVR and some of its members. Stored at a number of locations (including Healesville) until 2003, when it was moved to the Puffing Billy Railway for restoration. After restoration, it was loaned to the Victorian Goldfields Railway, where it entered traffic on 5 September 2007.[2] Left VGR in late 2011 for Newport Workshops for an overhaul for preparation to return to Healesville.
W250 1960 Tulloch Limited, Rhodes, New South Wales[3] Operational Victorian Railways W-class diesel-hydraulic locomotive.
Y109 1963 Clyde Engineering, Granville, New South Wales[4] Stored Victorian Railways Y-class diesel-electric locomotive. Formerly owned by El Zorro and re-numbered Y145, it was acquired by the YVR in early 2014. Moved from store at Camperdown to Healesville on 13 May 2014. Will be restored to blue and gold livery as Y109 in the future.
T341 1956 Clyde Engineering, Granville, New South Wales[5] Stored Victorian Railways T-class diesel-electric locomotive. Acquired by the YVR in the 1980s. Used on the railway till 2004. Transferred to Seymour for restoration to Mainline condition and made available for hire in 2008. Stored at South Dynon out of use 2012. Returned to Healesville on 14 May 2014. Presently awaiting repairs.


Line guide[edit]

The Yarra Valley Railway currently runs on a section of track from Healesville to the Tarrawarra Tunnel. The rest of the line between the stop board outside the Tarrawarra Tunnel exit and Yarra Glen is currently being restored.

Healesville railway line
Line to Lilydale
50 km Yarra Glen future extension of heritage railway
Melba Hwy
Yarra Glen rec. reserve and showgrounds
Steels Creek
Simpsons Lane (private access)
Pauls Creek
Tarrawarra Road
former Tarrawarra Road underpass
54.7 km Tarrawarra future extension of heritage railway
Tarrawarra Abbey service road (private access)
Private access road (Skeleton Bridge)
Donovans Road
Old Donovans Road bridge
Watts River
Healesville-Kinglake Road
63 km Healesville
Panoramic shot of Healesville Station with the railmotor RM22 sitting in the platform

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°39′35″S 145°29′21″E / 37.6597°S 145.4891°E / -37.6597; 145.4891