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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Keeping the best till last??? Spring Bluff; Part 4 Carnival of Flowers...

Spring Bluff railway station  is a well loved destination for a visit here in SE Queensland. The little station is known for its beautiful gardens and the whole precinct is now heritage listed. This is part of the historic Ipswich to Toowoomba railway line, the building of which started in 1864 and the first train came through on April 12, 1867. The station was decommissioned in 1992 but was put on the National trust register in 1994. It is on a line which, with the mining boom, has become very important for the transportation of coal. The only passenger trains these days are tours and special excursion trains.






Now for some more recent history affecting Spring Bluff station...last year in January, a huge wall of water washed away the side of the hill/bluff that the station is 'perched' on. The damage was huge as the photos from the Queensland Rail website show. The railway lines had the soil, stones and some sleepers washed out from underneath them...the beautiful gardens and the bitumen carpark were washed away...







The line was reopened in 2 months and the complex of gardens etc was reopened in August; quite an effort! It's hard to imagine the volume of water that came down this dry looking culvert in January 2011...




When DH and I arrived at Spring Bluff, we saw that there was an excursion train from Toowoomba at the station. These tourists had come up the range from Toowoomba and had had a picnic lunch at Spring Bluff. The train started loading for the return journey about 20 minutes after we arrived... and then we waved to those on the train as it pulled out of the station...I can't help myself...always wave at excursion trains :-)




Look how high that step up to the train door is!!

That's ok...QR has a set of steps...

And then when all the passengers are aboard, the steps are wheeled away :-)

The 'station master'...a volunteer

The old 'points' room

So now some photos of the station and its gardens...




The old station master's house


the terraces in front of the old caretaker's cottage

The cute caretaker's cottage



that old tree planted in 1870

terraced gardens beside the road into the car park...
DH ordered a Devonshire tea; this is half of his scone!




Just as we finished our cuppas (and DH ate his scone) we heard a train in the distance climbing up the range . It was a 'double-header' coal train, but it was empty we guessed as it was going pretty fast up the range. There were over 40 wagons behind the 2 engines. 

What a great finale to our Toowoomba visit.

5 comments:

Naturally Carol said...

Hi Maria..what amazing rebuilding has taken place in a relatively short amount of time! The gardens are beautiful. I suppose most platforms are built to walk straight onto the trains with the train tracks being lower down. We overlook an 'excursion' train station where we live..it is a lovely old steam train, but they have a diesel locomotive as well which they run when the fire danger is high mostly.

Dorothy said...

Very interesting Maria and what beautiful gardens. They obviously worked very hard restoring things after the flood devastation. My dad was a railway man and I can remember as a child, visiting him at work and he used to let me pull those levers (under strict supervision of course). He worked his way up to special class signalman and by then everything was electronic.

Susan said...

They've done a great job getting it all cleaned up and back into action after the flood.
Aren't the railway gardens etc., so pretty.
Decent scone there! :D)

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