Located at Cambooya Street, Drayton, not far from the Toowoomba CBD, is the Downs Steam tourist railway and museum project, run by the Darling Downs Historical Railway Society Ltd
Don’t do what we did and judge “a book by its cover” – although the site is still relatively small, there is a lot packed in so allow plenty of time!
Special Photographic Features or Notes
This is a volunteer group with the aim of creating a tourist railway for the Darling Downs region. Of particular interest is their ongoing restoration of a C16 class steam locomotive 106 – the last steam locomotive to be built at the Toowoomba Foundry.
The above carriages – known to many as “SX” cars or “Budd” cars would be particularly familiar to many Brisbane commuters in the 90’s. These four now host four themed photo exhibits.
The “Drayton Diner” (a converted Melbourne Tram) is currently dedicated to feeding volunteers but plans are in hand to upgrade it to a cafe style eatery.
The “Memory Coach” has been established to showcase archival documents, exhibits , photographs and books (and holds an absolute bonanza of treasures)!
Outside there are two diesels (One being restored and the other being canabilised for spares before ultimately becoming a children’s exhibit), sheep coaches, a portable steam engine, turntable (yet to be installed) and various other bits and pieces much loved by rail buffs and photographers alike.
There are also a number of historic buildings on site – such as the station building which was relocated from Yuleba, and the entry building which formerly a dairy!
Toowoomba is about 1.5 to two hours from Brisbane, depending on your starting point. From the centre of Towoomba, the map to Drayton is here. Entry is by gold coin doantaion (Adults $2, kids $1 – though any extras gratefully accepted).
The museum is open 10.00 AM – 3.00 PM Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, so for the camera buffs, filters are obviously going to be handy – depending on the time of day and a tripod for longer/multiple exposure and a good macro lens! Cross lighting in the carriages can be tricky, but ultimately adds to the satisfaction. At the time of writing, there are basic drinks etc available from vending machines or a catering service available for groups, as well as a small souvenir shop.
Along with everything else this amazing group of volunteers have managed to achieve, be sure to check out the award winning gardens
Plenty of information is available from:
This is a volunteer group who are enthusiastic (as evidenced from the greeting and guided tour we got), have achieved an enormous amount to salvage our heritage and have dug deep both in terms of their time and dollars, so please give in any way you can!