In 1994 a group of four amazing people had a restaurant/cafe in point Lonsdale, which is still there today called Pasquini’s. At the time, they were also running a Function Centre at the historic Homestead and winery, Suma Park located at Marcus Hill.

The proprietors at the time were two couples, Rick and Carol and Martin and Maria, who moved to The Bellarine from Mansfield. Maria was and still is an incredible opera singer. Pasquini’s had the idea of holding an event on the local heritage train line as part of the winter concert series. Local music entrepreneur and radio broadcaster Hugo T Armstrong was approached to help come up with a concept for the train component and to be part of the shows.


Hugo having a passion for blues and roots music instantly said why don’t we call it The Blues Train? Along with Maria, he soon gathered a group of musicians and other local performers to put together the entertainment for the evening on the train.

Needless to say, the event was an immediate hit! This unique experience of a beautiful and majestic steam train pulling carriages of people along the Bellarine railway soon proved to be a night of entertainment, singing and dancing and a few sore heads the next morning!

In 1994, the concept of The Blues Train was the very first one of its kind in the world. Although it was initially one part of a winter concert series of at the historic Suma Park Homestead, patrons and organisers soon decided that there was enough following and enthusiasm for the event to run a couple of times a year.

As popularity grew, Hugo became more involved in the event and eventually became a business partner in The Blues Train. This partnership lasted for 13 years until the retirement of Pasquinis Deli from the train. The cafe and restaurant is one of the most popular destinations in point Lonsdale main street to this day and operates all year round. Hugo and the team still have a strong connection and share pride in the foundation of the blues train concept way back in 1994.

Maria and Hugo
Original Dance Carriage


Thinking back to that very first night, little did anyone know that what they had created would be operating over two and a half decades later. The Blues Train has now brought entertainment and joy to over 300,000 people. It’s also produced hundreds and hundreds of performances, whilst supporting hundreds of artists and entertainers from all over this wide red land, and many from America, Europe and Canada. You just never know who you are gonna see on The Blues Train!

In recent years Hugo and his company, Bay City Events, have continued to build The Blues Train experience to become one of the most memorable and unforgettable tourism attractions in Victoria and Australia. The night brings together people from all over Australia and the world to join in a celebration of live music and be entertained by the best Australian and international blues and roots entertainers.


The events have now developed to be a bucket list experience for many people of all ages. Although the concept of a night on a steam train with four Blues and Roots entertainers, dinner and a show stays the same, every night on The Blues Train is different. Many visitors return again and again to view a favourite performer, or a brand-new act that they never knew existed.

The Blues Train has become renowned as a world class unique experience for family and friends celebrating birthday and Christmas parties, or just get-togethers on a night out with your best friends, lifelong partner or maybe even your future partner!

We look forward to welcoming you on board The Blues Train for an unforgettable experience. You’ll get to meet Hugo T and all the gang at the gate, as he’s always there to welcome everybody.

So, what are you waiting for? Get on board and come on shake rattle and roll with us on Australia’s longest running Blues & Roots music venue!