Arsonist tries to set 120-year-old Puffing Billy bridge alight

An arsonist is believed to be behind an attempt to burn down an iconic 120-year-old Victorian tourist attraction.

A fire on the Puffing Billy Railway Trestle Bridge east of Melbourne early on Monday morning has been deemed suspicious by police.

Emergency services were called to the bridge, which runs over the Monbulk Creek and Belgrave-Gembrook Road in Belgrave, at 2am after receiving reports of flames on the tracks.

When fire crews arrived, they found the small fire burning in leaf litter had self-extinguished and did not cause any damage to the iconic wooden bridge.

Sergeant Madeline Gillard said an arson chemist would examine the scene on Monday to try to determine the cause of the blaze.

Puffing Billy travels over the trestle bridge.Source:Supplied

Puffing Billy crosses the Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge near Belgrave as runners pass underneath during the 37th annual Great Train Race. Picture: Ian CurrieSource:News Corp Australia

The famous 15-span timber bridge was built in 1899 and is now classified by the National Trust of Victoria.

The bridge is 91.4m long and 12.8m high, and the carpark below has become a popular spot for viewing and photographing the famous steam train.

The Puffing Billy Railway tourist attraction has been closed since March 23 this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Police are appealing for any witnesses or people with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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