Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CHOO CHOO TOOWOOMBA

We went on a steam train trip to Toowoomba. Toowoomba is a city on the Darling Downs on top of the Great Dividing Range. It is 125 km west of Brisbane. It is known as "The Garden City" and hosts "The Carnival of the Flowers" each September. I have always wanted to visit during the flower festival time. Bill said he would like to take the historic steam train up the range to Toowoomba. I luckily got two cancellation tickets for the train trip which is obviously very popular. We set off at 6:00 am from home and drove into town to the station. The train left at 7:15am and arrived in Toowoomba at 12:30pm, it was a long trip. We spent a few hours visiting gardens on a coach and then returned by steam train to Brisbane and arrived at 7:45pm. We reached home at 8:30pm. It was a long day for the oldies, but something different.
 Everyone on the platform wanted to get a photo of the old steam train. It was a BB111/4 class and it is operated by the Australian Railway Historical Society Queensland Division. It has been in service since 1956 originally for an express passenger train and now as a tourist attraction.

 These Gentlemen were helping us get into the swing of the old days. The railway line was constructed over 150 years ago.

 We passed through the Lockyer Valley where most of our vegetables are grown before climbing up the steep range. Many bridges and tunnels were constructed to try to ease the climb, but there are still some very steep gradients. 

We stopped at Heliden for the train to be refuelled with water and other adjustments made. Passengers used the time to visit the engine.

 These volunteers never cease to amaze me. 

 We even had a dining car.

 At the risk of getting soot in my eyes, I ventured out on the verandah to get some shots of the train.

After climbing up the hills we finally arrived at Toowoomba where we had lunch with many of the other passengers.

 Lunch was served in the old dining room on the station. I should mention here that passenger trains no longer go to Toowoomba except for these special outings of the old locomotives. So the station is like a museum. Coal trains still use the line.
After lunch we boarded buses to visit some gardens, which I'll show on my next post.


23 comments:

  1. That was a long day, nearly ten hours on the train and it is less than two hours by car. I remember being driven around Toowoomba to look at the gardens.

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    1. The train stops at Heliden for some time while they fill water and do whatever. It goes slowly up the steep parts. Going home they bus us to Heliden and we pick up the train there for the next 3 hours home.

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  2. What a wonderful trip and I love how these men are dressed up. Just like stepping back in time. A;so cool to eat in the old dining room

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  3. I Love Trains and this looks like a fun one I really like that dining train photo would love to ride on that and eat looking out the windows. A fun trip

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  4. how lucky to have such a great excursion!! My DH loves the train!!

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  5. How fortunate to get those cancellation tickets. Steam trains just take you back in time. I look forward to seeing the flowers.

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  6. Choochoo to Toowoomba, it's so much fun to say. A long day, but what fun. You were lucky to get tickets.

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  7. Wow that sounds like fun even if it was a long day and I love your photos. Have a good day t'other Diane

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  8. Taht train is really photogenic!

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  9. Thank you for this virtual train ride Diane, looks like a whole lot off fun and one I would have loved to go on. I like the sepia toned photos also, fits in with the theme.
    I will look forward to your garden tour. Great photos!

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  10. I'm so glad you went on that trip and then shared it, Di. Made me quite nostalgic. I grew up riding the old steam train every school holidays to Laidley. Can so clearly remember the excitement of the last long tunnel and coming around that sweeping bend into Laidley station. We'd set out from Nudgee, change trains at Roma Street and often change again at Ipswich to the Toowoomba train. As time went by there was a railcar to Ipswich. We never enjoyed that part of the trip quite as much. When I was a young teenager I'd do that trip with a few younger siblings in tow with me as the responsible one. No wonder my younger brothers and sisters say I was the bossy one! Thanks again for sparking so many wonderful memories.

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    1. Its a pleasure. I too rode a steam train home from school some times.

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  11. It must have been a wonderful day out - although as you mentioned, very tiring too. There's something special about steam trains.

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  12. What a super day trip! And obviously the perfect time to go. The title of the post is chugging along in my head like a song .

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  13. We have ridden on a few steam trains, which are also mainly for tourists now. The most recent one we saw but didn't ride on was at the Cog Railway to Mt Washington, NH. We rode one of the "regular" trains instead. Your trip is something that I now Grenville, and me too, would have enjoyed!

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  14. Hi Diane, that sounds like a really fun thing to do! Can't wait to see the gardens.

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  15. This reminds me the trip I did in an old train along the coast of Cornwall ! Looked nearly the same !

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  16. Hello, the train ride looks like a fun time. The gardens are beautiful too. The volunteer do look like they are hard workers. The sepia images are cool. Great series of photos.
    Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

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  17. what a wonderful trip and a steam train to the Carnival of Flowers makes it all the more special! A fellow blogger wrote about the train a few weeks back and I suspected that it could be hard to get tickets, so well done to you!

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  18. Diane, I have a friend who LOVES trains. For her b-day last year we took a fall ride to Glenwood Springs, stayed over a few days, and rode the train back. What normally takes us 2 hours by car, took about 6 on the train! However, like you, we enjoyed the novelty and the scenery.

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  19. Like Pauline I, too used to ride an old steam train though to work not to school. My school had two rail services running past the grounds at right angles (one above ground and one in a cutting). So I was steeped in steam. My only recent steam train ride was, coincidentally, with Pauline in New Zealand. So I am super-envious of your long trip.

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    1. I wonder which train in NZ. Bill and I went on the Tierie?? Gorge train. That was a wonderful trip.

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  20. That looks like such a fun ( if long) day! Hope you didn't get as much soot in your face as I did when I went on a Colorado steam train!

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