Railways in Queensland - History in Pictures

On July 31, 1865, 150 years ago, Queensland's first railway line was officially opened. The line ran between Ipswich and Bigge's Camp (later named Grandchester). Since that time railways have continued to extend throughout the state and provide a vital link to remote communities. State Library of Queensland hold an extensive digitised collection of images documenting the history of Queensland Rail. These images can be perused via our One Search catalogue.

Official opening of the first section of the Ipswich to Grandchester railway, Ipswich 1865.The ceremony was attended by Governor Sir George Bowen, Lady Bowen and other officials. This was Queensland's first railway. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 150529

First railway station at Ipswich, ca. 1868. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 22794

Railway sheds at Ipswich, ca. 1876. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 196832

Steam engine at Oxley Railway Station, Brisbane 1876. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 22811

Roma Street Railway Station in Brisbane ca. 1879. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg APU-049-0001-0012

Railway tunnel on Main Range near Toowoomba ca. 1879. John Oxley Library, SLQ. APU-049-0001-0032

Train at Roma Street Station, Brisbane. ca. 1880-1890. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 183736

Early day northern Queensland railway men, 1880s. Back row: R. Walker, G. Cranston, J. Love; middle row: W. A. Hooper, A. J. Eden, J. Reid, T. A. Hope; front row: R. McGhie, C. Clarke. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 22590

Locomotive coal wagon and carriage on the bridge in Main Range, ca.1880. John Oxley Library, SLQ. APO-026-0001-0006

Opening of Stanthorpe Railway Station, Queensland 1881. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 21415

Toowoomba Railway Station, 1882. John Oxley Library, SLQ. APO-004-0001-0001

Brushy Creek railway bridge on the Bundaberg line, ca. 1882. John Oxley Library, SLQ. APO-004-0001-0027

Cairns to Herberton railway line looking from Freshwater Creek towards Redlynch Station ca. 1883. John Oxley Library, SLQ. APE-061-0001-0010

Workers standing outside the entrance to a railway tunnel under construction Brisbane ca. 1884. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg APO-014-0001-0006

Locomotive named Pioneer on the Western Railway construction site between Roma and Mitchell ca. 1885. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 1334

Railway lines and bridge washed away by floodwaters Emu Creek near Warwick 1887. John Oxley Library, SLQ. API-002-01-0004

Train standing at the Sandgate Railway Station ca. 1888. Later became Shorncliffe Railway Station. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 36151

Locomotive at the Cooktown Railway Station ca. 1889. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 68921

Railway employees Toowoomba, Queensland ca. 1890. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 36959

Ipswich railway workshops ca.1890. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image 6446-0001-0031

Makeshift bridge of railway wagons during the 1890 flood in Auchenflower, Brisbane. Neg 22684

Men working on the construction of a tunnel on the Cairns railway. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 67224

Engine 281 in the locomotive sheds at Ipswich. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image 6446-0001-0028

Toowong Railway Station during the 1893 flood in Brisbane, Queensland, 1893. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image 7604-0001-0006

Wrecked steam locomotive after its boiler exploded, Brisbane 1898. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 201024

Central Railway Station, Brisbane, Queensland 1901. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 150532

Railway Station in Melbourne Street at South Brisbane, Queensland 1902. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 37415

Group of people standing under a welcome sign at Kingaroy railway station 1904. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 199718

Deep Creek railway bridge nearing completion Gayndah district 1905. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image API-073-0001-0007

Sydney Mail train on a stone viaduct in the Toowomba Range southern Queensland, ca.1905. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image APO-020-0001-0005

Interior view of first class suburban railway carriage ca. 1905. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 38436

Recruiting train at Wallumbilla Railway Station ca. 1915. APE-020-01-0001

Flood damaged railway bridge over the Burdekin River 1917. John Oxley Libray, SLQ. Neg 20655

Opening of the railway between Cairns and Townsville 1924. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 29664

Interior view of No. 5 Rail Dental Cliinic ca. 1928. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image API-081-0001-0042

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, October 2 1930. Caption: Special: Opening of the Kyogle Railway. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image 702692-19301002-s001b

Waiting for the train at Mount Isa Station 1931. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image API-094-0001-0003

Roma Street Railway Station in Brisbane ca. 1931. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image 10189-0001-0166

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, March 26 1936. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image 702692-19360326-s001b

Crowds on the platform of South Brisbane Station to farewell soldiers, March 1940. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 105684

Rescuers inspect the wreckage of the Camp Mountain train disaster 1947. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 102662

Staff on the platform at the Tully Railway Station ca. 1950. John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 33128

Train at Kuranda railway station ca. 1958. (Image in copyright). John Oxley Library, SLQ. Image lbp00059

One of the last trains to cross at the Gabba Fiveways ca. 1967. (Image in copyright). John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 161195

Merivale Railway Bridge during construction, Brisbane 1979. (Image in copyright). John Oxley Library, SLQ. Neg 260530

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Fantastic photos. I would love to have them in MY collection. Thankyou

I am looking for an employee who worked on QLD railways in 1967 John Louder born in England

Hi AmandaTry contacting Queensland State Archives first as they hold a large majority of Queensland Rail records. Here is their fact sheet - http://www.archives.qld.gov.au/Researchers/CollectionsDownloads/Documen…

I purchased the doomben station when nudgee rd was widened about 77.i have aphoto taken across nudgee rd from hamilton bowls club car park.any intrest .we have lived in it for 40 years . Nudgee road siding was written as delivery advice on the stable door. I guess a lot of punters knew it. Thanks

The historic Boogan Railway station has been bought ,moved by my daughter and cleverly converted into a fabulous 2 bedroom rainforest retreat at Utchee Creek and is FOR SALE at ecorealestate.Even the final chalk sign is on the board, plus ticket box and swinging doors .

Im looking for any photos of my grandfather Samuel Ford of Ranis who worked on the railway line apx 1964.

Cooktown had a turntable and a loco shed for two engines. Now only the floor and the two service pits remain, but we are planning to replace it on the original outline with an exhibition space. Does anyone have a photo of a small shed like that? We don't have anything locally. ericge@westnet.com.au

Cooktown had a turntable and a loco shed for two engines. Now only the floor and the two service pits remain, but we are planning to replace it on the original outline with an exhibition space. Does anyone have a photo of a small shed like that? We don't have anything locally. ericge@westnet.com.au

LOOOKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ROBERT CLIFFORD MASTER CARPENTER, WHO WAS BOUGHT OUT FROM ENGLAND IN 1865 TO WOSRK ON RAILWAY BUILDIOINGS IN QUEEENSLAND. WAS THERE UNTIL1884.

Hi GailThank you for your question. Could you please fill in our online enquiry form and our reference librarians will look into this for you. Here is the link – http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/services/ask-usThanksMyles Sinnamon – blog editor

I'm looking for information about Rea Siding Near Thagoons or Walloon, in the 19th Century on the Ipswich to Bigg's Camp.

Hi HeatherIf you would like to fill in our online enquiry form with your details, one of our helpful librarians will assist you with your question. http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/services/ask-usRegardsMyles – State Library of Queensland

any history in book form on MT EDWARDS,BOONAH,MARYVALE branch lines?

there is a problem with a large number of photos - it is blank

Hi DavidThanks for your questions. If you would like to fill in our online enquiry form with your details, one of our helpful librarians will assist you with your question. http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/services/ask-usRegardsMyles – State Library of Queensland

g/day AMANDA I am always looking for photos of railway station name boards the older the better.david.horton7@bigpond .com regards,David Horton.