THE 100-year-old paintshop at the North Ipswich Rail Workshops is much the same as when carriage painter Neville Culley left it in 1996.
Except the spray booth, which is a "modern" addition.
Well-used tools still line the benches, and the french polishers' room displays the tradesmen's sample boards.
Mr Culley retired from Queensland Rail in 2010, after 50 years as a carriage painter.
"I left the paintshop here in 1996 to go to Redbank workshops," he said.
"I was 15-years-old when I started my apprenticeship. Originally I wanted to be a cabinetmaker.
"The best part about the job was the workmates."
Two thousand employees worked on the North Ipswich rail site when young Neville joined the team.
Eighty of those were in the paintshop.
When he left 35 years later, the painting workforce had been reduced to a dozen.
Today, four painters are employed, including Phil Caldwell who guided a reunion tour on Saturday.
Mr Caldwell has spent 39 years in the paintshop.
"I had nine years out of the place and came back," he said.
"We still look after the heritage carriages and steam engines.
"We still hand-paint them and use the same heritage colours."
Colin Kerr, among about 40 ex-workers to attend the paintshop's centenary reunion, came from Cairns to see his old workplace. Mr Kerr spent 12 years at the Ipswich workshops before retirement.
He started his five-year apprenticeship in 1941 in Toowoomba.
"I'd just left school. I had a choice of three jobs - wagon builder, blacksmith and carriage painter," he said.
Painting was carried out at North Ipswich from the mid-1880s, with the move to the purpose-built paintshop in 1912. About 180 painters were employed in the paintshop at its busiest.