Monday, 15 June 2009

Tears and Trains

Guess what we did on Saturday...

We got out of bed extra early (we are I am usually awake at that time but shirking parental responsibilities for a few more minutes) and hurried through breakfast and getting dressed and headed out the door for the railway station...

Dragon and I were going to watch Wolf and Lion get on the Q150 steam train! Yep, only two of us were riding... the tickets sold so quickly that we completely missed out but JMac's grandma happened to have two spare tickets so we decided that this was a daddy thing to do and that Lion would more likely remember it than Dragon. Man oh man did Dragon not like that decision but I was so proud of him as he watched the train pull out of the station without him... His little bottom lip quivering as he watched his big brother get to do the most exciting thing he could think of. I was praying for the steam train to suddenly get a whole lot more power and get out of there faster because if I had to endure that lip and sad eyes for much longer I would have been in tears myself. The tears welled up for Dragon but never spilled over... he was so strong. Then we heard her call from the VIP carriage of the train...

"Did you have a ticket to ride?"

"No" we called back, "we missed out"...

"Come back for the next trip... We'll get you on!"

Okay, so then I did have a few tears... my little man was going to get to ride the steam train!

Problem was, he didn't want to leave the station after I told him we could go on the next trip. I had plans of taking him to have a coffee or go exploring a park or something, we had an hour until the train came back. I managed to convince him to come with me to the old train station with all the beautiful brickwork and stuff for some photos and he eventually agreed but wasn't in the mood for modelling so I didn't get any good photos of him there and the light was all wrong for taking photos of the building. (it was my impression that the old station was kept as a historic building and the rails being maintained for just this sort of purpose, heritage events and such... why the heritage steam train had to pull in to the sterile concrete platform of the new, ugly, modern station I don't know).

We all got tickets for the next trip and we had a ball! Mummy taking photos, kids acting like royalty waving to all and sundry as the train rattled past, Daddy being chief kid-wrangler so Mummy could indulge her need for photos... geez I love that man!

I took nearly 200 photos and got some weird looks and some strange comments but it's not every day that you get to walk through a train like this. The engine was built in the 50's, the oldest carriage was over 100 years old and one of the carriages was used on the royal train when Queen Elizabeth came to Australia in the 70's (possibly the ugliest carriage of the lot so I didn't take any photos of it but Lion thought it was very special being in a carriage that the Queen had ridden in). So now it's just photos with a little commentary under each one because actually fitting them all in as part of the post was going to be too much for my brain.

The "grand old girl" makes her grand appearance Queensland style... BACKWARDS!

Lion being given assistance by daddy to disembark at the end of his first trip.

Wrought Iron... I.LOVE.WROUGHT.IRON.

I love that this is almost a silhouette, they had just hosed down the coal and the sun was catching on the wet surface taking the harshness out of the silhouette. The light was really annoyingly in the wrong spot for taking good documentary type photos but I got some artistic shots from it.

The first carriage behind the engine.

The engine steaming off with Wolf and Lion on board.

I think we can safely assume that he was excited about being on the train.

Lion and Wolf's super cute travelling companion JMac.

This detail was above every doorway... I thought it was a nice little touch of class... no stainless steel here!

Dragon gets into the spirit of it while waiting for the train to come back for him.

F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. He's on the train! And he was pleased as punch!

Dragon does his best impression of and excited puppy dog as he waves to the cars lined up at a crossing. This was how he spent most of his ride... tongue out, hand waving, it was all about him... after all, the train had come back just for him!

What I am assuming is the construction of the pits for the V8 Supercars coming to town next month. I reckon you'd only get to see this view from the train line... there's not much else around this area.

Just watching the world go by...

SO GLAD trains have airconditioning now... this was the only fan (all 30cm of it) in our section of the carriage... it was pointed straight down on a section with no seats... useful.

Mummy McT and her boys on the train... Lion's getting annoyed with the glarey sun.

A far more accurate picture of Mummy McT and her boys.

These boys just couldn't help their stunning looks... they got the good lookin' genes from both sides of the family!

Someone else that didn't want to be mummy's little model.

Don't look too close... the steam appears to be going faster than the train! We were reversing back into the station at this point but I wanted a shot out the window of the engine.

"Q150" is the coolspeak for the celebration of Queensland turning 150 this year. June 6 was Queensland Day and the official anniversary but there is a year long program in place with different tourism promotions, local promotions and travelling exhibitions. This steam train has been restored and is travelling Queensland. Each town it stops at is doing these small trips and you were also able to get tickets for some of the longer journeys... although after our hour long ride I don't think I will ever romanticise the "good old days". Our hour long trip took us half way across town and back... an hour in a plane gets us to Brisbane! We don't actually have a big enough city for rail transport to be a viable option around town so our station is used only for greeting and farewelling the sunlander, inlander and the tilt train all carrying distance travellers. This means it is one concrete platform, two office sections for staff and that's about it. It is a ghost station for most of the time.


  1. I don't think the tracks go all the way to the old station anymore.

    I loved the detail and elegance on the train that you would never see on any public transport today. It's so sterile now.

  2. There's something about little boys and trains...

  3. Fantastic! You know who will be proud of you... my boys, big and small. I'm so glad that you all got a turn and Dragon does look as happy as can be.

  4. Boys and trains! Oh my boys loved them! Riding on then, watching them or reading about them!

    Loved the fun pictures too!!!!

  5. You were going to take your 2 year old out for coffee? Um.... there may be a reason he won't go to sleep at night!

    (Yes, yes I realise he probably only gets a babycino, but it just looked wrong to this mummy who won't even let her nearly-14year old sniff my coffee.)

    How lovely that you all got a free ride!!

  6. @Sandra - I thought of your boys and their trains while we were there!

    @Mum-me - He's lucky if I remember to order him a babycino... I often have people question me if they hear me bribing my kids with going out for "coffee".

    And I meant to put in that it wasn't the free ride that I thought we were going to get... we had to pay for our spots (that other people had paid for and not turned up for so they got the cash twice) but it was so worth it... and only $5 a ticket.

  7. Awesome memories!!!

    What is it about boys and trains?!?!

    Mrs. Nurse Boy

  8. Actually 1 hour will only get you halfway to Brisbane on a plane - just to be nitpicky.

    I'm so glad Dragon got his turn. What a brave little tyke. I am missing my boys so much.

    Can't wait to get back!


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