Tract Consultants was engaged by the Emerald Tourist Railway Board to assist in developing a strategic document to guide the operation of the Puffing Billy Railway into the future.
The document was required to address the efficient management of the unprecedented growth in demand from local and overseas visitors and provide a more diverse range of tourism products across the railway within a sustainable environmental, social and commercial framework.
Puffing Billy Railway is one of Victoria’s major tourist attractions with more than 400,000 visitors per year. It is also a highly valued and much loved Victorian tourist destination supported by the efforts of a very large, passionate and committed group of volunteers.
In order to safeguard the long term sustainability of Puffing Billy for the enjoyment of future generations, the Emerald Tourist Railway Board identified the need to introduce changes within the historic railway corridor to support and fund future demand.
The ongoing increase in patronage from both local and international visitors means that current rail servicing and visitor facilities are no longer adequate and the railway is not being fully utilised.
Tract worked closely with a number of stakeholder groups, all with varying needs and challenges to deliver a Master Plan that provides for the ongoing sustainable use and development of the Puffing Billy Railway.