L-R Melissa Duncan and Samantha Gash
2023 Puffing Billy Running Festival Emerald. With three new distances, 1km Junior Dash, 5km Family Run, 21.1km Half Marathon as well as the original 13.5 km Classic Run. Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September.


The 2024 Puffing Billy Running Festival will take place on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September. 

Can you beat the train?

Day one of the Festival will feature a new 1.2km Kids Dash and a new 5km Family Fun Run / Walk on Saturday 7 September at Emerald Lake Park, with the echoing toots and puffs of Puffing Billy propelling all participants forward.

Then, on Sunday 8 September, prepare to witness a fierce showdown as up to 3,000 participants take on the challenge of a lifetime, racing against two colossal steam locomotives from Belgrave to Emerald in the heart-pounding 13.5 km 'Classic' Run.

For those hungry for even greater conquests, the all-new 21.1km road and trail Half Marathon; a true test of endurance set amidst the breathtaking views and unyielding hills of the Eastern Dandenong Ranges.

Spectators looking to cheer on participants can embark on an unforgettable journey themselves, hopping aboard the iconic Puffing Billy and potentially even surpassing the racing runners!

The recently developed state-of-the-art Lakeside Visitor Centre within Emerald Lake Park will host the Festival’s Finish Zone precinct.

It’s sweat versus steam through the rolling hills of the Dandenong Ranges.

So, can you beat the train? There’s only one way to find out.


Saturday 7th September

A fun family day in Emerald Lake Park.

10:00am Race Start

11:00am Race Start

Sunday 8th September

Race against two trains from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park.

Race Start | TBA

Race Start | TBA

Gtr 5453

Why run the Puffing Billy Running Festival?

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Experience the thrill and challenge of racing Puffing Billy!

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Electronic Timing and Results

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Finisher Medal

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Finisher Certificate

Pbrf Icons 04 Baggage4

Bag Drop

Pbrf Icons 05 Watercup5

Drink Stations

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On Course First Aid

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On Course Road Closures

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Family entertainment at finish line

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On-Course Photography available for purchase

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Optional return locomotive journey back to start line available for purchase


Optional return bus shuttle back to start line available for purchase

Now an event for the whole family

It's a fundraiser, too!

Proceeds from the 2023 Puffing Billy Running Festival will be donated to heritage railway projects, such as the construction of Puffing Billy Railway’s Belgrave Station Signal Box.

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About Puffing Billy Railway

Built in 1900 to serve the local communities that lived in the hills, carrying anything from passengers to timber, livestock, potatoes and plants, Puffing Billy Railway is a century old not-for-profit steam railway attraction that connects people with the past, their environment and each other.

Continuing to puff daily (except Christmas Day) with the support of over 300 passionate volunteers, Puffing Billy Railway invites you to ride in our open side carriages as you journey over the hills, down the valleys and into the lush forest on the original 24 kilometre mountain track between Belgrave and Gembrook.

Visit the Puffing Billy Railway website here >