New proprietor takes over Queenscliff tourism fixture The Blues Train

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New proprietor takes over Queenscliff tourism fixture The Blues Train

Words by Staff Writer

The award-winning tourism experience known for shaking, rattling and rolling welcomes a new owner in Daniel Kay.

It’s the dawning of a new era of blues on the Bellarine. After a twelve-month campaign, the announcement of new ownership for the Queenscliff attraction The Blues Train comes in time for the operation’s 30th year. Arizona-bred, Bellarine resident Daniel Kay is welcomed as the new controller of the iconic shake, rattle and rolling railway experience.

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Stepping down from the controller cabin is Hugo T Armstrong. The Point Lonsdale local, founder and former proprietor of The Blues Train, Armstrong is retiring his cowboy hat with heartfelt appreciation for the ride he has had and for the countless individuals, musicians and railway volunteers who have contributed to making the Blues Train a premier tourism and music destination.

“I’m extremely happy to announce Daniel as the new business owner,” he says. “We first met Daniel in January and last week we were able to finalize what has been a lengthy and rewarding process of appointing the right person to take The Blues Train into the future, not only for our visitors and musicians but also to ensure the support and income that it provides for the incredible volunteer-run Bellarine Railway.”


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Kay brings a wealth of experience to the business and the local Geelong tourism industry, having managed high profile overseas attractions including The Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona and Clip ‘n’ Climb in Canada, in addition to local knowledge gleaned from overseeing local icons The Otway Fly in Victoria and Treetops Adventure nationally.

“I am honored to have been entrusted at the helm to continue the legacy of the legendary Blues Train and look forward to working with Bellarine Railway and the Queenscliff community to script another era of success” said Kay. “Hugo and his team have built an outstanding operation which I intend to keep running well and truly on the right track!”

Since its establishment in 1994, The Blues Train has played host to over 300,000 patrons injecting over $3.1 million a year directly into the Queenscliff visitor economy. The beloved attraction has also played a significant role in the development and sustainability of live music both in Victoria and throughout Australia, holding the title of Australia’s longest running contemporary Blues and Roots music venue. The service has seen many greats in blues cut their teeth in the carriages, raising the profile of blues in the region and adding to the vibrant local live music scene.

As the transition takes place, the anticipation mounts for the upcoming season of live music at The Blues Train, scheduled to kick off in October 2024 and run through May 2025 offering patrons a chance to revel in the timeless sound of live blues whilst enjoying dinner and a ride. October tickets for The Blues Train are selling fast, with November on sale and December shows are coming up soon.

For tickets and information, visit the official website at