All new ex­hibits

The Queensland Times - - NEWS -

Over the years, The Work­shops have had nu­mer­ous items do­nated to them, which are cur­rently in stor­age. But cu­ra­tors hope to bring them out onto the floor and have them on dis­play in the com­ing months.

In the mean­time, there are still plenty of in­cred­i­ble things to see and do.

The premise has a very long and im­pres­sive his­tory, which is ev­i­dent in the old build­ings which are still proudly stand­ing to­day.

This was the site where trains were built, main­tained and new tech­nol­ogy in­vented for the fast-pace rail in­dus­try in the 20th cen­tury.

In its time, more than 200 steam lo­co­mo­tives were built right here in Ip­swich at The Work­shops.

It is also where the very first train to run in Queens­land steamed. It ran from here to Bigges Camp, now Grand­ch­ester, over 145 years ago.

The old time keep­ers of­fice, which is now the ticket of­fice for The Work­shops, is one of the old­est build­ings on site. It was built around the early 1900s.

It has re­cently un­der­gone ren­o­va­tions, in­clud­ing a fresh coat of paint, to be an at­trac­tive and his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment to wel­come guests. In the com­ing weeks, a num­ber of arte­facts will be moved into the build­ing, cre­at­ing an ex­cit­ing ex­hibit upon en­try.

One of the mon­u­ments which you will see straight away when you walk in is the hon­our stone.

This is where the names of those who worked at the Work­shops Rail Mu­seum and served dur­ing the war are for­ever en­graved. There are more than 300 names.

Thou­sands of work­ers have called The Work­shops their home over the years.

Dur­ing its peak in WWII, more than 3,000 peo­ple worked on site, mak­ing it the state’s largest em­ployer at that time.

Many of its em­ploy­ees went to fight over­seas and sadly did not re­turn home.

One of the most in­ter­est­ing names on the hon­our stone is a gen­tle­man named William Gunn.

He worked hard at The Work­shops and wrote count­less let­ters to the Queens­land Times news­pa­per. His last let­ter to be pub­lished in the Queens­land Times co­in­cided with the news of his death over­seas.

Now, The Work­shops is again an icon for the re­gion.

The re­birth of the site in 2002 as a world class rail mu­seum, cou­pled with the old­est con­tin­u­ally op­er­at­ing rail­way work­shops in Aus­tralia, makes for a vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence sec­ond to none.

It cur­rently has five large lo­co­mo­tives and five pas­sen­ger coaches to ad­mire.

Stand­ing next to these trains you will truly un­der­stand their im­mense size and power..

There is also a wide ar­ray of arte­facts and per­sonal be­long­ings from those who helped shape the rail in­dus­try when they worked there.

But there is much more to the mu­seum than trains. They also fea­ture a wide ar­ray of ex­hibits and com­mu­nity events, such as their new twi­light mar­kets.

If you are look­ing for a fun day out, be sure to pop the Ip­swich Work­shops Rail Mu­seum on your list.

Thou­sands of work­ers have called The Work­shops their home over the years. Dur­ing its peak in WWII, more than 3,000 peo­ple worked on site.

Sig­nage through the years.

PHOTOS: DAVID NIELSEN

TOOT TOOT: The Work­shops Rail Mu­seum’s re­cent ad­di­tions have been well re­ceived so far.

Cu­ra­tor Trans­port David Hamp­ton.

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