Grandchester's heritage honoured in special event

GRANDCHESTER, the birthplace of our state's railway, will be the setting for a special commemoration to celebrate 150 years of Queensland rail history.

Grandchester Steamfest 2015 will be held on July 26 at the recreation reserve in School Rd.

Grandchester earned its special place in Queensland history when, in 1865, the first section of railway in the Colony was completed between Ipswich and Grandchester then known as Bigge's Camp.

The railway eventually linked the Darling Downs to Brisbane. Much of Grandchester's railway heritage is preserved.

Its charming railway station building is the oldest surviving example in Queensland and its square water tank is a reminder of the days when thirsty steam engines were frequent callers.

Ipswich Cr Bruce Casos said former Grandchester Steamfest celebrations had drawn vast crowds and this year the event was expected to exceed 10,000 visitors.

"Queensland Rail and the National Trust of Queensland will have static displays and an open house at the Grandchester Station and a temporary bridge across Western Creek will connect the two locations of this event," Cr Casos said.

"They will also hold a re-enactment of the 1865 opening of the railway line at the Grandchester railway station."

Queensland Rail plans to run three steam trains to Grandchester on the day and will transport dignitaries to the festival by steam train from Ipswich using an A10 locomotive which was the train which made the original journey on July 31, 1865.

For more information see arhs-qld.org.au or steamfest.org.au

 



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