It’s been more than 40years since steam trains were used as public transport but today Brisbane train travellers were given the chance to hop aboard for a special trip from Ipswich to Shorncliffe.
Amy Stewart reports.
Rail commuters took a step back in time this morning.
Queensland Transport Minister Rachel Nolan, one of the first to get on board.
She says the special services are skilling-up current electric train drivers to become qualified in steam trains – an important part of tourism.
Rachel Nolan, Queensland Tansport Minister: “Queensland Rail is the only fleet in Australia that still has a heritage operation. We’ve got about half a dozen steam trains that are maintained out at North Ipswich and that are regularly used for tourist services.”
It was a rare sight at Central station as steam filled the usually clear platform, and train spotters were ready.
Catching the B-B eighteen and a quarter class locomotive a dream come true for this train enthusiast.
Robert Dow, spokesperson for Rail Back On Track: “To be able to travel by work this morning is something that most train enthusiasts only dream about these days… to have it as a reality is fantastic.”
Steam trains haven’t carried suburban passengers since 1969 and this return is only short lived with the steam train making three journeys before retiring.
The special service will be repeated tomorrow and Wednesday, leaving from Ipswich station just after nine.
Amy Stewart, QUT News