Great Train Race

Puffing Billy's Great Train Race 2015

This year Puffing Billy's Great Train Race will take place on Sunday 3 May, 2015. The race begins in Belgrave at 9.30am.


Since registrations opened at 10am Tuesday 10 February, we have almost completely filled entries for the 2015 Great Train Race!

The last few places will fill fast!  To guarantee your spot on the start line and avoid disappointment - ENTER NOW


Before entering the 2015 Great Train Race we ask that you carefully read the information below.  This information is crucial for runners and their family and friends attending the Great Train Race on Sunday May 3rd, 2015.  After reading, please click the "Proceed to Enter" link to continue.


Puffing Billt Great Train Race 2015 Trestle Bridge


The Great Train Race isn't simply a race amongst the competitors -  it's an exciting challenge competing against the steam locomotive, Puffing Billy!

The race route extends 13.5 km's through the hills and fern gullies of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park. The continual popularity of this unique run makes the Great Train Race an event not to be missed.

The Great Train Race is organised by Puffing Billy Railway volunteers. All proceeds and any additional donations go towards the restoration of the NGG16 127 Garratt locomotive.


Entry fees

  Early Bird Standard
Adult $70.00 $80.00
Child (13-16 years) $50.00 $60.00
Note: Early Bird closes on Tuesday 10 March 2015

We anticipate that the entries will be fully subscribed within the week, so enter now to avoid disappointment.


Race Train Tickets - SOLD OUT

Please note - Tickets for both the First and Second Race Train are SOLD OUT

Adults: $55.00
Children: $39.00 (age 4-16 inclusive)

There are two Race Trains available for family and friends of runners from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park return, each with a capacity of 300 passengers per train.

Departure Times
  • First Race Train - departs Puffing Billy's Belgrave station at 9.30am
  • Second Race Train - departs Puffing Billy's Belgrave station at approx 9.45am

Please note that runners do not need to purchase a ticket for themselves - transport back to Belgrave from the Race Finish is available aboard Puffing Billy or chartered bus. This transport is included in the Entry Fee for runners.

Children under 4 years of age, not occupying a seat, are carried FREE on the race trains. Prams are not permitted aboard the Race Trains as these will get very full.


Race Singlets

A limited number of both Male and Female Great Train Race running singlets are available for purchase with your Race entry at $40.00 each.  Click here to view the sizing chart.

Please note - Female size XS, M & L are SOLD OUT


Seeded Race Start

RFID timing will record official race times and a seeded start will again be used to ensure a safe event for all runners.

The allocation of places into one of the 4 seeded groups are on a first come, first served basis; so ensure you register online as soon as entries have opened to avoid disappointment.

If you have run in the GTR previously

  • Your most recent GTR race result has been modified to 10km and automatically entered.
  • If you accept this time, no supporting evidence will be required to validate your 10km time. 
  • You do have the option of overriding this time but, you will be requested to provide evidence in the coming days.
  • Note you are not guaranteed a position in any group based on this time.

If you have not previously run in the GTR

  • You will be asked to provide your best 10km time (full minutes) over an event you have completed in the last 12 months.
  • In order to qualify in either the 1st (350 places) or 2nd (650 places) group, runners will receive an email in the coming days seeking evidence of this time by way of a race certificate or link to the results page of another event.
  • Ideally, the evidence will show a 10km split if it's a longer race.
  • Note you are not guaranteed a position in any group based on this time

No statement will be accepted as validation of your 10km time.

No guides as what time will get you potentially into a group will be issued.

All runners will be notified of their seeded group in the coming weeks.


Timing Checkpoints

To minimise the disruption to local traffic, 5 designated course timing points have been implemented. Runners need to reach these specific points by certain times to continue in the race. These are:

  1. Corner of Selby Aura Rd and Belgrave Gembrook Rd, Selby by 10am (30 minutes after the race start) - at the 2.8 km mark;
  2. Corner of Selby Aura Rd and School Rd, Menzies Creek by 10.30am (60 minutes after the race start) - at the 6.5 km mark
  3. Emerald Rail Crossing on Belgrave Gembrook Rd by 11am (90 minutes after the race start) - at the 10.7 km mark
  4. Crichton Rd, Emerald by 11.15am (105 minutes after the race start) - at the 11.7 km mark; and
  5. Finish Line by 11.30am (120 minutes after the race start).


Car Parking

Race Start (Belgrave)

Car Parking at Belgrave is extremely limited and we strongly recommend that you travel by Metro Train.

Ideally, catch the earlier train that begins from Ringwood Station at 7.59am and arrives at Belgrave at 8.34am. (timetable current as at 4 February 2015). There is carparking available at the following train stations along that route:

  • Ringwood - 410 car spaces
  • Heathmont - 110 car spaces
  • Bayswater - 350 car spaces
  • Boronia - 390 car spaces
  • Ferntree Gully - 270 car spaces
  • Upper Ferntree Gully - 300 car spaces

The first train to depart Flinders St at 7.37am is also an option though please note, this train does not arrive at Belgrave until 9.02am. This only leaves 28 minutes until the Great Train Race begins at 9.30am.

Please visit Public Transport Victoria's website for updated timetable information.

Race Finish (Emerald Lake Park)

There is no entry to Emerald Lake Park on Race Day without a pre-purchased Car Park Pass.  Please note that entry to Emerald Lake Park is open until 9.30am only.

People with a car park pass have the opportunity to find themselves a viewing area of the race finish to ensure they can see family and friends as he or she crosses the finish line!

Please note - Car Park Passes for Emerald Lake Park (Race Finish) are SOLD OUT

Alternative car parking in Emerald is available at Emerald Secondary College located at 425 Belgrave-Gembrook Road (Melway Ref 126 J2) for a $5 fee - first in best dressed. A shuttle bus will be available to transport spectators between the college and Emerald Lake Park between 8.00am and 9.30am. Car park opens from 8.00am.

Please note that there is NO TRANSPORT from Emerald Lake Park/Emerald Secondary College to Belgrave prior to the race start at 9.30am.

Important race information

  • The maximum number of entries for the Great Train Race is 3,500 runners
  • Age restrictions: On advice from Athletics Victoria and the Australian Medical Association, all runners must be a minimum of 13 years of age on the day of the Race.
  • A range of prizes including placegetter, team and beat the train prizes are on offer. Will you beat Puffing Billy in 2015?
  • Race certificates will be available online within 48 hours after the Race listing your time, your place, whether you beat Puffing Billy and if so by how many minutes and seconds.

Course maps



We wish to thank all of the valued sponsors of Puffing Billy's 34th Great Train Race.



Not running in Puffing Billy’s 34th Annual Great Train Race on Sunday 3rd May 2015? Want to volunteer?  No special skills, experience or training is required, just your enthusiasm and willingness to help! Click here to find out more.


Proceed to Enter

Once you have read the information above, please click here to enter Puffing Billy's 34th Great Train Race.



Update or check your details

Click here to check that we have your current email address. You will need to know your Person ID number which is located on your 2013 or 2014 Race Certificate.


Join the Great Train Race mailing list

If you have never run in the Great Train Race but would like to be added to our mailing list, please click here. That way, you'll receive race notifications, including results of the 2015 Great Train Race.


Race results and certificates

Click here to retrieve your results and your certificate from the 2014 Great Train Race.





Phone: (03) 9757 0775 (+61 3 9757 0775 Int'l)


2014 Great Train Race Photo Gallery

Female winner Sarah Klein crosses finish line. Photo: John Koch

Male Winner Craig Appleby crossing finishing line. Photo: John Koch

Runners making their way through the scenic landscape. Photo: Bob Wilson

The Race Train. Photo: Bob Wilson

Train and runners at the Trestle Bridge. Photo: Bob Wilson

Train and runners at the Trestle Bridge. Photo: Stefan Rebgetz

At the Selby Aura Road level crossing Photo: Bob Wilson

Runners after Race Start. Photo: Boheme Rawoteea

And the runners are off! The Race has started. Photo: Boheme Rawoteea

Runners at Race Start. Photo: Boheme Rawoteea

Train driver Chris Tasker with the winners. Photo: John Koch

Sarah Klein with driver Chris Tasker. Photo: John Koch

Runner Michelle Bayley dressed at Darth Vader. "May the Fourth be with you"