Celebrating Gin Gin Railway Station’s 140th anniversary today, longest serving station master Alan Cheshire reminisced about the history of the iconic building which began operations in 1881.
During his working life, Alan said he had travelled to most railway stations along the east coast of Queensland as a relieving station master, but it was the time he spent at Gin Gin that he treasured most.
“I know just about what every station looks like between Gympie and Townsville, a lot of them have now disappeared,” Alan said.
According to Alan, the railway line that connected to the Gin Gin station initially began in North Bundaberg and on the 19 July, 1881 the contractor handed the first section of the railway over to the government.
Describing Gin Gin Railway Station, Alan said during his time there was no passenger service and the train only ran twice a week.
“In 1975 the pine was being cleared out of Good Night Scrub and the train service was used to take it all to Brisbane,” Alan said.
“The pine from Good Night Scrub is unique to that area, and as a timber it is as hard as the softer hard woods and was very much in demand back then.”
Alan said after almost 20 years the line was used for this purpose before it closed in 1992.
“I knew it was on the cards to close because branch lines which had been built in the early days no longer met the standards necessary to carry freight,” he said.
The Gin Gin and District Historical Society is the custodian of the Gin Gin Railway Station with members organising the 140th celebration event held on Sunday.
Member Gillian Lewis-Shell said the station was now a museum and attracted a lot of interest from both the wider community and railway enthusiasts.
“We run it as part of our museum, there are several rooms in the station that are dedicated just to railway memorabilia,” she said
“We also have a very large washing machine collection in one of the rooms.
“People of all sorts, and obviously railway buffs, come and have a look at it and the general public are usually quite amazed to see how beautiful it is and how well preserved.”