You could build a railway carriage for that!

What do manual arts students, dentists, domestic science students and leprosy patients all have in common? At one point in Queensland’s history they have all had custom railway carriages built for them. When railways were the most dominant means of transporting goods and people on land, some of the rolling stock used had to be customised to accommodate all sorts of passenger and freight needs. … Continue reading You could build a railway carriage for that!

Season of Adversity – The 1942 Brisbane Rugby League Season

With the museum temporarily closed and with many of us now having to work from home, I decided to do some research on a large donation of old Queensland Railway Institute (QRI) sporting trophies that we received last year. The one that instantly caught my eye was a 1942 Victory Cup Reserve Grade Rugby League Premiers trophy. As I started looking into how the Brisbane … Continue reading Season of Adversity – The 1942 Brisbane Rugby League Season

Unveiling Ceremony of the Memorial at the Ipswich Railway Workshops, September 1919.

Remembrance Day… Ipswich Railway Workshops Memorial

Written by: Geraldine Mate, Senior Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum In the last two months, the grounds at The Workshops Rail Museum have been reminiscent of scenes almost 100 years ago. Our heritage listed War Memorial has been undergoing a face-lift, with the installation of new paving and walkways. Watching the transformation, the busyness of the construction workers has evoked the activities that would have … Continue reading Remembrance Day… Ipswich Railway Workshops Memorial

Pompey’s next chapter

Written by: Rob Shiels, Assistant Collection Manager, The Workshops Rail Museum In July 2016, Pompey, the black locomotive in the grounds at The Workshops Rail Museum will be moved to an undercover area at the Museum. Pompey has been a popular display item since the Museum opened in 2002 and has been climbed on by thousands of adults and children alike in the last 14 … Continue reading Pompey’s next chapter

Anticipation in Ipswich

Written by: David Mews, Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum Whenever I drive over the Bremer River bridge on the Warrego Highway, I imagine the little paddle steamers as they chugged their way to Ipswich or back to Brisbane. This year celebrates the 150 years of Queensland Rail and my imagination takes me back in time trying to picture what it must have been like. Ipswich … Continue reading Anticipation in Ipswich

Behind the scenes of exhibition development: In three dimensions and full colour

Written by: Geraldine Mate, Senior Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum

One of the most exciting parts of pulling an exhibition together is seeing an idea that has been in your head turn into a full colour, three-dimensional solid entity.  A lot of time goes into the writing of text for labels and panels, the identification and selection of objects and choosing from the myriad of photographs available.

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Homebush turns 100

Written by: David Mewes, Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum

During my holidays in August 1968 I had the opportunity to see and hear the famed 610 mm gauge Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 steam locomotives used by the Colonial Sugar Refining Company at their sugar mills in Queensland and Fiji. The last ten of these locomotives at that time worked in the Ingham District at the CSR Victoria and Macknade mills. The oldest was also the smallest, the Homebush, built in 1914. The remainder ranged in size and weight with the last built in 1953 being the largest and most powerful. Continue reading “Homebush turns 100”

Electricity Brings Prosperity

Written by: Dr Geraldine Mate, Senior Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum

As a Curator, I am often asked “What’s your favourite object?”. Now to me this is a difficult question to answer – it’s a bit like being asked “who’s your favourite child?”. There are so many great objects in the collection that it’s impossible to pick one.

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Billy Sheen and his C16

Written by: David Mewes, Curator, The Workshops Rail Museum

“Billy Sheen and his C16” was the title of a song recorded by Brisbane folk group The Moreton Bay Bushwhackers in 1959 as part of Queensland’s Centenary celebrations. I often think of this song whenever I come across references to Queensland Railways’ C16 Class locomotives, the prototype of which was designed and built here at the Ipswich Railway Workshops in 1903.

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Getting the show on the road – travelling the “I’ve Been Working on the Railway” exhibition

Written by: Rob Sheils, Assistant Collection Manager, The Workshops Rail Museum

In May 2012 “I’ve Been Working on the Railway – Stories and experiences of Torres Strait Islanders, Aboriginal people and Australian South Sea Islanders” opened at The Workshops Rail Museum. We were lucky enough to later receive a grant from the Australian Government through the Australian Council for the Arts, its funding and advisory body, to travel the exhibition around Australia between 2013-2015.

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