IT was full steam ahead last week for the launch of the Bellarine Peninsula’s latest tourism drawcard, with the Q train upper-class rail restaurant attracting more than 100 diners.
The opening weekend was declared a roaring success by organisers, with business manager Marie Claire Trotter saying they had received overwhelmingly positive feedback from passengers.
“Everyone seemed to leave just loving it, so we’ve been flattered by the positive feedback,” she said.
“Obviously we would have loved to have been sold out but we’re so happy with how everyone left.”
Departing from Drysdale on a four-hour round trip to Queenscliff, the train follows heritage rail lines with an assortment of local food, wine, beer and cider on offer.
Tourism Geelong and the Bellarine head Roger Grant said he was extremely optimistic about the Q Train’s potential to bolster the peninsula’s visitor numbers.
“The Bellarine is really starting to perform as a destination, thanks to some critical bits of infrastructure such as the new ferry from Docklands, and hopefully this venture,” he said. “Anything that encourages them to stop and stay in our region is a good thing.”
Ocean Grove’s Marnie Johnstone said she planned to travel on the Q Train next weekend.
“We’ve heard great things about the experience so we’re very enthusiastic to try it out,” she said.
The service currently operates on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, departing Drysdale at 6.30pm.
Ms Trotter said the rail restaurant could also expand to include a lunch service, but details had not yet been confirmed.
This article was originally published in the Geelong Echo October 12 2017 and was written by Rowan Forster