A large-scale community event and formal dinner are highlights of the celebrations to recognise the opening of the Ipswich to Toowoomba railway in April 1867, 150 year ago.
Toowoomba Festival of Rail committee chair Paul Herbert announced the program for the event by explaining that the opening of the rail in 1867 marked the completion of the most important piece of transport infrastructure in Queensland. “When Queensland became a colony in 1859 its biggest source of revenue was wool from the Darling Downs. The imperative for the colonial government was to get the wool to Queensland’s biggest port at the time. Ipswich. Hence the railway”. The significance of the railway to Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and Queensland deserves to be celebrated and this is just what we are doing he said.
On April 29, the Railway precinct will come alive with a number of exciting events including:
- the arrival of two steam trains,
- the opportunity to ride a steam train (long or short trips) and learn about steam engines
- tours and talks outlining the significance of the precinct and its history
- public markets
- the opening of the Air Raid shelter at the railway
- model train display
- static displays from community groups dedicated to rail
- and much more
A feature of the day will be a ‘historical recollection’ project. “We are asking the community to come down and tell their stories about either the Railway or the Air Raid shelters” Herbert said. We want to collect and record memories and stories of the precinct” he said.
The precinct has not only great historical significance but also enormous potential as a tourist/educational venue. “The Toowoomba Festival of Rail will showcase a wonderful asset”.
The celebrations will conclude with a Gala Dinner in the historic refreshment rooms. Tickets are available at https://toowoombatickets.com.au/ Proceeds from the Dinner will support the National Trust of Queensland Toowoomba branches campaign to gain public access to the Air Raid shelter and develop educational based on the historic Toowoomba Railway precinct.
WHEN: Saturday, April 29
TIME: 10 AM - 3:30 PM
WHERE: Corner Railway and Russell St, Toowoomba