Terry Collins with his great-grandchildren and great-nephews and nieces on the historic steam train.
Terry Collins with his great-grandchildren and great-nephews and nieces on the historic steam train.

Railway family marks end of an era

MEMBERS of the Collins family have been walking along the platform of the Warwick Railway Station for the past 140 years.

But Terry Collins is the last to carry on the family tradition and when he retires from Queensland Rail in December this year, it will mark the end of an era.

Mr Collins first put on the trademark orange uniform in 1963, marking the beginning of a long and successful career with QR alongside his brother Kev.

On Saturday, 200 Collins family members gathered to celebrate Terry’s looming retirement with a steam train trip.

The trip to Clifton was a journey Mr Collins wanted to share with his great-grandchildren so they could experience a steam train in action, and the rest of the family jumped on board.

“The grandkids wanted a ride and it turned into this,” Mr Collins said, smiling. “We’re a pretty close-knit family. When one of us are in, we’re all in.”

Mr Collin’s great-grandfather immigrated to Australia in the late 1860s to Toolburra and began work with the railway in the late 1870s, helping lay the track to the south west of Warwick.

His two sons, Dinny and Dan, joined the railway, followed by Dinny’s son Jack who also found employment in the railway.

The next generation was Mr Collins and his brother Kev, who were both train drivers, along with younger brother John who worked in maintenance.

Mr Collins said he hoped the younger generation of the Collins family would have wonderful memories of the trip on Saturday to last a lifetime.

He has powered or chugged a steam train along every track in Queensland during his career and said he was sad it was coming to an end later in the year.



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