Trains have been in the top ten of big boy’s toys for a long time but of course, if you’re a kid, they’re just plain cool.
Whether you’re four or 64, the City of Ipswich has a railway adventure to whet your whistle.
The Workshops Rail Museum
This heritage-listed former Australian railway workshop is the birthplace of rail in Queensland with the first steam loco leaving from Ipswich in 1865.
There are over 15 exhibitions, an impressive model railway as well as the Science Centre where kids can explore and solve puzzles.
Coming this April, the museum will host an exhibition called Circus Train which will have plenty of hands-on activities for kids and also something for the adults as the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the history of how the railway brought circuses and entertainment to rural and country communities.
Then of course there’s also Day Out with Thomas which happens twice a year in the school holidays and it’s always a big hit for families.
The Workshops Rail Museum, North Street, North Ipswich, 3432 5100
Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway
Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway was started 43 years ago by a group of volunteers intent on saving one steam locomotive.
Since that time it’s grown into 34 vehicles, restoring an old branch line and running tourist trains for tourists, locals and families.
One such tour is the diesel hauled picnic train. It’s a one hour trip featuring heritage timber carriages winding their way from Swanbank to Bundamba Racecourse and back again.
Queensland Pioneer Steam Train, 0439 767 837
Grandchester Model Live Steam Association
Located right next door to Grandchester Sawmill as well as the oldest railway station in Queensland, the Grandchester Model Live Steam Association has to be experienced.
The track was completed in 1998 and the model ride on trains are a quarter of their original size, and so much fun for little ones.
The club is relatively small with about 16 members, but they are the most passionate bunch who definitely love sharing their trains.
“For most people it’s two things: it’s the love of trains and the building them and the running them but also the love of providing something for the kids to entertain them and to take them for rides, that’s why we do it!” said long time member Geoffrey Perkins.
Grandchester Model Live Steam Association, [email protected], 2 Ipswich Street, Grandchester (formerly Bigges Camp)