FOND MEMORIES: Former QR employees Neil Linnehan and Don Pryde, who worked together on the Blue Baby restoration, catch up at the rail reunion.
FOND MEMORIES: Former QR employees Neil Linnehan and Don Pryde, who worked together on the Blue Baby restoration, catch up at the rail reunion. Sarah Harvey

Rail employees past and present attend Workshops reunion

FOR retired railmen like Don Pryde and Neil Linnehan, the exhibits at the Workshops Rail Museum are more than a collection of old locomotive relics - they are memories.

Between the two men is at least 80 years of dedicated railway experience.

"I started my apprenticeship at this very site back in 1950," Mr Linnehan said yesterday, during his most recent visit to the museum.

"I worked here in engine gangs before I transferred to the Redbank diesel shop in 1965 and spent 27 years working on diesel electric locomotives."

Even in retirement, railway work still features prominently in the 78-year-old's life, volunteering his time to work on the restoration of old locomotives.

The two men reminisced and shared their experiences of working in the industry at a special event at the Rail Museum.

Past and present Queensland Rail staff were invited to gather at the North Ipswich venue for its annual workers' reunion event.

The day is designed to celebrate the people who shaped the history of the workshops and Ipswich's heritage.

Mr Linnehan said the event was always a great opportunity to catch up with old work friends and talk about the site.

"Railway men are like a big family and have always stuck together," he said. "So this is a great way to keep those friendships going."

Museum director Andrew Moritz said the annual event had been held since 2002 and was done in conjunction with the museum, QR and Ipswich City Council.

He estimated about 4000 people had attended yesterday's event, with about a quarter being past or present employees of QR.

As a special treat, guests were allowed to access active Railway Workshops not normally open to the public and were entertained by a big band, jazz group and local choir.



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