Another 3Rs! Railway Refreshment Rooms

To most of us the 3Rs connote literacy and numeracy, but did you know the initials also used to apply to the Queensland Railway Refreshment Rooms? Originally run by enterprising locals, the Railway Department, Refreshment Rooms Branch was created in June 1916. The official public announcement that the Queensland Government would run the railway refreshment […]

Murphy’s Creek Railway Accident

On the morning of January 29, 1913 a livestock train departed from Toowoomba and derailed near the Murphy’s Creek railway station, about one mile from the station yard limits. No members of the crew were injured, but many hundreds of cattle were killed and a considerable amount of damage was caused to the vehicles and […]

Who Were the Midnight Runners?

Within our collection is this striking photograph of the opening of the Blackall train line taken in 1908. The photographer, along with gathered dignitaries, a brass band, and hardy spectators braved an onslaught of treacherous mud and cantankerous rain. As reported in The Queenslander on the 23 May 1908: “The special train left Rockhampton last […]

Queensland’s first steam locomotive

On 6 June 2012, Dr Ruth Kerr delivered her annual speech on John Kerr’s historiography at the Queensland Day Dinner, hosted by the Royal Historical Society of Queensland. John Douglas Kerr was an esteemed historian, statistician and writer. He was also renowned for his knowledge of the history of Australian railways. Dr Ruth Kerr spoke […]

“Hail! strangers, hail’: Scots in Queensland

Hail! strangers, hail! right welcome to our shore, We wish you joy, – Eden could yield no more…                     — “Frederick”, 12 February 1849 By the time the Moreton Bay Courier welcomed Reverend John Dunmore Lang’s Fortitude, the Scots already had a toehold here. Despite relatively small numbers (compared with the English, Irish and, increasingly, […]

All aboard the Root Canal Express!

Do you remember visiting the school dental clinic? Many of us are familiar with clinics in classrooms or even mobile caravans, but did you know one of the first travelling dental clinics in Queensland was a rail car? The school dental scheme was developed by the Department of Public Instruction in the late 1920s. The […]

Early Queensland Railways – Celebrating 150 Years of Rail

Interested in railways? Trainspotter at heart? This blog gives you the rundown on the records held at Queensland State Archives that can help you research your passion. This month marks the 150th anniversary since the completion of the first Queensland railway line from Ipswich to Bigge’s Camp (known today as Grandchester) on Monday 31 July […]