Monday, 25 May 2009

A disappointment............. and then some fun

Queensland is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its separation from new South Wales, and as part of the celebrations, a steam train has been travelling up the Queensland coast line. The carriages are all antique, beautifully restored, kept for special occasions like this. When the train arrives in large privincial cities, there are side trips for the residents to take to enjoy the nostalgia of the old steam engines.
Well, today was our turn, but sadly without the steam engine. It broke down in Rockhampton so we had a deisel loco instead!! The atmosphere wasn't the same, but you could safely have the windows open without getting all the awful coal dust in your eyes - much nicer. Though the train looks nearly empty, there were really heaps of people there, but we were all walking up and down the train to get a good look at everything - lots of fun. The insides of the carriages look really lovely with their pressed metal ceilings and beautiful silky oak panelling.

I loved the fretwork above the doors at the end of each carriage.

This was the dining car, with its curtains and padded pelmets - much swisher than any steam train I travelled on as a child!

The route we travelled took us past my son's house so the family was all outside waving like mad. Nikki took this photo, Hamish (3) was fascinated as I was taking a photo of them as well, he couldn't understand why he couldn't see it wilth all their photos on the computer!!
The swaying and rocking carriages are just as I remember them, you almost roll along the corridor as if you are at sea!

I loved going past the canefields. This is planting time, when some of the fields are replanted. The sugar cane in our part of the world is a one year crop, and is ratooned (regrown after harvest) for about four years before being replanted. When we went to Ballina I was very disappointed in their canefields - the cane is much shorter and very uneven, but it is a two year crop and is blown over quite often. At this time of the year, when we drive around the countryside we usually between stands of cane at least 2 metres tall and so even it looks as if the tops have been slice off!

This was looking out the window of the train - much closer to the cane than from the roadside. I wouldn't like to live in some of the farm houses, they are surrounded by cane on three sides, very claustrophobic in my opinion, to say nothing of the snakes and bandicoots and other creepy crawlies which would be coming out of the cane. that is far too close for me.
Not sure I will get to post again this week, I am fighting bronchitis again and I have a million and one things to get done before I fly to Brisbane on Friday morning to go to the Textile Art Convention. The programme is looking very exciting, I want to do it all, but of course I can't! I am going to do a short workshop with Dale Rollerson though and of course there will be so many stalls to look at before deciding what I can't bear to live without. Lots of pictures next week.


  1. Lovely post Robin and great photos. I love steam trains - is it because they remind us of our childhood? Hope you enjoy your workshop with Dale Rollerson and have a good time deciding what goodies to buy. Look after yourself.

  2. What a lovely jolly jaunt. Thank you for taking us on it with you.
    Do hope your bronchitis improves before your trip.

  3. I used to love standing on the bridge and waiting to be enveloped in steam as the train passed underneath. Thanks for the nostalgic trip. Do look after yourself with your bronchitis, hope it doesn't affect your trip.

  4. Great pics Robin--ah steam trains-they bring back great memories for us people of a certain age don't they.
    Take care my friend and enjoy yourself next week.

  5. Love the pics. Have a lovely time in Brisbane. Say Hi to Dale.


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