Visitors to an upcoming royal portrait exhibition will be able to travel there in style, by catching a historic ‘royal train’ to Bendigo Station.
The train will operate on eight Saturdays between March and July, to coincide with the royal portrait exhibition Tudors to Windsors, being held at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
The service will travel between Castlemaine and Bendigo, with a special launch train going from Southern Cross Station to Bendigo on Saturday 16 March.
Run by the Seymour Rail Heritage Centre and Victorian Goldfields Railway, the train will have several fully restored carriages, including two that were used by members of the royal family when touring Victoria.
The carriages, State Cars 4 and 5, were used for the 1954 tour by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip and in 1983 when Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales visited Victoria.
Passengers on the train will be able to travel in heritage carriages, including the 1955 steel car Mitta Mitta, the Parlour Car Yarra and a 1937 dining carriage from the Spirit of Progress.
The carriages will be hauled by a diesel locomotive of the type used on the 1954 royal train through Bendigo.
Tickets are now on sale from the Victorian Goldfields Railway. People will also be able to board the train at Bendigo Station and enjoy afternoon tea or look around the carriages.
Regular V/Line services will allow passengers from Melbourne to connect with the royal train at Castlemaine.
For more information and to buy train tickets, please visit vgr.com.au
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards
“This train offers people a special way to travel and then see the unique artefacts on loan from galleries and museums around the world, right here in Bendigo.”
“We’re supporting the Victorian Goldfields Railway to operate this train, which celebrates Victoria’s rail history and gives people the opportunity to travel like royalty.”
“We’re giving train, art and royal enthusiasts the opportunity to get a taste of this rich part of Bendigo history.”
“What better way to spend your weekend than catching a royal train to see all that Bendigo has to offer – including the unique royal portraits exhibition.”