Loco No.448 in honour of Ron
QUEENSLAND Pioneer Steam Railway has paid tribute to founding member Ron Armstrong.
The Swanbank group honoured Mr Armstrong, who died in August 2008, by naming a locomotive after him.
The PB15 No 448 was retired in 1970 and was painstakingly restored by Mr Armstrong and other volunteers.
Pioneer Steam Railway member Mick Saffioti said Mr Armstrong’s name would live on with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the weekend.
“Ron’s wife Joy came out and we had about 60 members at Swanbank to honour him,” Mr Saffioti said.
“He was a really good worker who is very sadly missed by the rest of the group.
“I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Ron; he was a workmate and a friend.”
Mr Saffioti said Mr Armstrong dedicated much of his life to trains, even in retirement.
He said Mr Armstrong lived in Archerfield before moving to Victoria Point and spent “thousands of hours” volunteering at Swanbank.
“Ron was a driver with Queensland Rail for 39 years and was instrumental in restoring the PB engine for the group,” Mr Saffioti said.
“The engine was running up until about 10 years ago, and then the boiler became unsafe so we started restoring it.
“Ron and other Pioneer Steam Railway members spent the best part of nine years and thousands of hours working on it.
“It was recommissioned last year and has been back on the lines actively for the past 12 months or so.”
Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway was launched in 1978 by a small group of railway enthusiasts from Ipswich and Brisbane.
The group ran its first steam train rides at Swanbank during the 1978 Ipswich Colour City Carnival using carriages hired from Queensland Rail.
Today, it hosts regular weekend steam train rides and caters for functions by request.
For more information on Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway, visit www.qpsr.net.