Can you beat the train?


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

Day one of the Festival on Saturday 7 September will feature two family-friendly events in Emerald Lake Park: 1.2km Kids Dash and 5km Family Fun Run / Walk. The echoing toots and puffs of Puffing Billy propelling all participants forward!

Then, on Day two on Sunday 8 September, prepare to witness a fierce showdown as up to 2,500 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, there's the 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 with an off road loop through Wrights Forest.

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 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
Emerald Lake Park

11:00am Race Start
Emerald Lake Park

Sunday 8th September

Race against two trains from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park.

8:40am Race Start
Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park

8:40am Race Start
Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park

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

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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

It's a fundraiser, too!

Proceeds from the 2024 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 >