The next meeting of the Assn of Tourist Railways Queensland will be held on Saturday 25th February.

Our hosts will be DownsSteam and the meeting will be held at their station:

16 Cambooya St
Drayton (suburb of Toowoomba) – see map below

The meeting will commence at 10.00am to allow time for members who will be driving to Toowoomba that morning.

Morning tea and lunch will be provided by the celebrated DownsSteam chef Glynn Hughes and his staff at a cost of $15 per person.

In the evening members and partners are invited to attend dinner at the Hockey Club.
A courtesy bus will be provided in the evening between motels and the Hockey Club.

Definite numbers are required for morning tea/lunch and also the dinner,
so please RSVP before 18th February.

The agenda will include a presentation from the Rail Regulators office, and an update on the new OH&S law that commenced on 1st January 2012.

This is the first time that DownsSteam have hosted the meeting and they are keen to “show their wares” to as many members as possible.

Get Directions

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Gulflander Season Start Postponed

On 10/02/2012, in News, by Mike

The Gulflander season start, originally slated for 16 Feb, has been postponed. RM93 still is still awaiting parts for it’s gearbox, while DL4 is considered too heavy due to the wet and saturated substrate of the trackbed. There are also some minor washouts along the line. This advice will be updated once more info comes in from the ‘Gulf’.

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SDSR Update

On 24/01/2012, in Members, News, by Mike

The Southern Downs Steam Railway have been recently restructuring their management committee. While this was taking place, it unfortunately caused the suspension of train operations, bad news indeed as this occurred over the busy holiday period. This process is now complete, and they are finalising their organisation and systems, which includes accreditation aspects and identifying and securing trainers.

ATRQ welcome  and congratulate the new management committee at SDSR, and offer any support we are capable of providing to get them running again. The new Committee consists of:

  • Pres: John Brady
  • VP: Bob Keogh
  • Sec: Jan Walker
  • Tres: Adam Cole
  • Committee: Alwyn Clark, Ivor Hill, Bob Amos, Lindsay Mills, Neil Linnehan

With the forthcoming return to operations, a tentative running schedule has been released. This has been updated into the ATRQ events calendar. A highlight in the Calendar is the great train race to Goodiwindi and Tobeah, in conjunction with the Gold Coast MG Car Club during the June long weekend. More info will be forthcoming about this event either at the SDSR Website, or here in the news section.

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QPSR – Driver Experiences

On 14/01/2012, in News, by Mike

The Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway are in the final stages of developing a steam and diesel driver ‘experience’ on their branch line. From the QPSR Promotions Manager:

QPSR is currently looking for expressions of interest from all interested parties for Steam and/or Diesel Driver Experiences, which will commence in April this year on the Swanbank Branch Line from the 2nd Mary Street crossing (3.25 km marker), down to Box Flat, the loop at Box Flat, QPSR Depot, then up the line to Swanbank Station, roughly a 12.4km round trip.

We’re still doing some fine-tuning, however we’ve agreed on pricing the Steam Experience at $499 and the Diesel Experience at $299. As a requirement by QLD Transport we do advise that you are of reasonable fitness and health, and the minimum age is 18, however if you have a parent or guardian wishing to do the course too, they can accompany you if you are 16 or over, but they must pay for the course as well, as we can only have 4 people in the cab of any locomotive, 2 qualified QPSR crewmen, and 2 guest drivers.

You can request further information from QPSR by using the Web Contact Form on our website here:-

Noting that the ARHS-Q already run a similar program at the  nearby Rosewood Railway Museum, it should be possible to undertake driving experiences on a couple of SE Queensland branch lines if you happen to be in that area.

Tentative dates for the QPSR program are 15 April, 20 May and 17 June 2012. Keep an eye on the events calendar for updates or changes.


Savannahlander Maintenance Update

On 09/01/2012, in Members, News, by Mike

The Savannahlander is part way through their 10 week annual shut down. The shut down coincides with what is historically expected to be the worst part of the wet season, especially west of the ranges. As the crew will often tell you, it’s a bad time of year to be stuck on the wrong side of a bridge. The shut down is used for their annual maintenance program, as well as letting staff burn off some leave. Of course, when working on aged rolling stock, things often don’t go quite according to plan. The Savannahlander has posted a news item to their website and is worth a read to see what goes on during the so called ‘quiet periods’. In case you missed, here is the link.

So that’s some news from the Savannahlander. What is your railway up to? Let us know so we can publish your story here, or link to a story on your website (saves us typing). Stuff that you’re doing, while perhaps routine to your group, might assist another member group puzzling over a similar problem.


Armistice Day and ANGRMS

On 09/11/2011, in Members, by Mike

Armistice Day Friday 11th November 2011


Terry Olsson, from ANGAMS contributed this following article:


With this Friday being Armistice Day, I think it is important we all pause and remember those who made the supreme sacrifice. Railways played an important part in World War 1, with many Australian railway personal involved both here and abroad. ANGRMS has a direct link to WW1 as we have a genuine WW1 war relic in our collection – a Hunslet 610mm gauge steam locomotive which saw active service in France. Light railways played an important part in WW1 in France. In the environment of the Western Front, main line railways could get no closer than five to eight kilometres from the trenches, as they were a prime target for artillery and were very expensive to install and maintain.

Narrow gauge ‘light railways’ served as the vital connection between the main line railheads and the forward areas. By 1917, an average of 165,530 tons of war material was being moved per week on the light railways. A peak of 210,808 tons was reached in October 1917 in connection with the Battle of Ypres. By the Armistice in Nov 1917, these light railways totalled about 6000km of track in the British sector alone, to which about 750 steam locomotives and a similar number of small internal-combustion locomotives had been delivered.  Australians played an important part in the operation of these “Light Railways”, with several Australian Light Railway Units. Below is a very interesting “YouTube” link to some great old WW1 war footage showing these “Light Railways” …


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A Visit to the MHR

On 08/11/2011, in Members, by Mike

A common question asked around the traps is ‘what do they do at the Mackay Heritage Railway?’  It turns out there is quite a bit, with a fair bit of innovation and application of some modern thinking and processes to old equipment. This will be important for when they realise their dream of running BB18 1/4 1037 on the mainline again. Instead of wasting words about the MHR, we’ll let some pictures do the talking.

The slideshow below has been taken from a power point presentation done by Peter Ford. There are 36 pictures in the presentation, each lasting 6 seconds. I don’t think the captions will display in the slide show, so if you want to read the comments that are associated with each image, click through to page two on the continue reading link, and you will see the image gallery posted there. Click the thumbnail to view the full size image and caption.

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Workshops Rail Museum wins Tourism Awards

On 07/11/2011, in News, by Mike

The Workshops Rail Museum wins two Queensland Tourism Awards

Arts Minister Rachel Nolan today announced The Workshops Rail Museum has scooped the pool wining both the Heritage & Cultural Tourism award and the Tourist Attractions award at the Queensland Tourism Awards.

Ms Nolan said the rail museum continues to go from strength to strength and last night’s awards recognise its outstanding contribution not only to Queensland arts and culture, but the local economy.

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The Bundaberg News Mail reports that the Australian Sugar Cane Railway has been closed down by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

The story is copied here in full, with the link below navigating to the source. There is a another link at the end of this post that will take you to a story from the News Mail from two years ago, where this issue was flagged earlier.

News Mail Article


VOLUNTEERS and community members are furious after Queensland Transport shut down the railway line at the Botanic Gardens without warning.

Officials stopped the tourist train, which has operated for 23 years, in the middle of a run as it helped out with a charity walk supporting diabetes on Sunday.

The Australian Sugar Cane Railway has been told the shutdown was because the railway did not comply with strict safety regulations.

Critics have labelled the move “bureaucracy gone rampant”.

Passengers on the Botanic Gardens tourist attraction, including a disabled woman and her carer, were ordered off the train by officials on Sunday afternoon.

The shutdown came about without warning and relates to safety accreditation the department said the 23-year-old railway attraction – which has never had an accident – must comply with.

Australian Sugar Cane Railway committee secretary Ross Driver said the group had been talking with Queensland Transport for months over compliance with their system of safety…


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On 24/10/2011, in News, by Mike

newsWhat’s Happening in Preservation?


News from our member organisations and upcoming ATRQ and ATHRA events will be published on these pages. We’ll also dredge up articles of interest from the mainstream media that is relevant to T&H Railway operators. Scroll  down to read more!