Spirit of Progress 80th Anniversary Tour

The Spirit of Progress was launched on 17 November 1937 in a blaze of publicity.  Publicity trips of the Spirit ran to major country towns of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo prior to its official run to Albury on 24th November.

Three hundred invited guests joined the train for the inaugural run to Geelong, On the return, the Spirit set a new official Australian rail speed record of 79.5 mph (127.9 km/h) between Werribee and  Laverton.  The Spirit also ran to Ballarat and Bendigo.

While not officially acknowledged, the steam-hauled Spirit of Progress was reported on occasion to have reached speeds as high as 86 mph (138.4 km/h) while in regular service.

After the successful launch, the Spirit settled into a routine that remained unchanged for the next fifteen years. It departed Spencer Street station at 18:30 each evening, arriving at Albury at 22:20. The return trip to Melbourne departed at 07:55 the following morning and arrived at Spencer Street station at 11:35.

We celebrate 80 years of the Spirit running 2 of the 3 original destinations during testing, Geelong and Ballarat.

The train will consist of original 1937 first and second class sitting carriages, the original dining Carriage, parcel van and the parlour carriage, a saloon type carriage at the rear of the train.

Further details visit

25 Nov 2017 07:30 - 9:00 pm