Blackie won't be forgotten in work at railway station

Bob Keogh with the headstone of Blackie the dog at the Warwick Railway Station.
Bob Keogh with the headstone of Blackie the dog at the Warwick Railway Station. Gerard Walsh

SOUTHERN Downs Steam Rail vice president Bob Keogh is delighted the grave and headstone of Blackie the dog is being preserved at the Warwick Railway Station.

Both Southern Downs Regional Council and Queensland Rail are undertaking work at the railway station in the run up to November 18 celebrations which include the re-enactment of the 1917 egg throwing incident at the station involving then Prime Minister Billy Hughes.

The council is upgrading the garden area between the station and Lyons St where Blackie was buried and Mr Keogh is delighted the grave will be preserved and the headstone placed in the original position.

Mr Keogh said Blackie turned up at the railway station in the late 1950s.

"Blackie arrived at the station skin and bone and looked up at a driver and fireman of one of the shunt engines with a pathetic look,” he said.

"The dog looked to be trying to say I want to be your friend.”

And for the next decade he was a friend to all who worked at the Warwick Railway Station.

"Drivers, firemen and shunters would bring extra food in for Blackie,” Mr Keogh said.

"He lived on a shunt engine and was as black as the coal.”

Mr Keogh recalled how Blackie got to know when the stationmaster walked to a shunt engine with the staff to signal a short return trip to Mill Hill station.

"Blackie would jump on the loco and ride to Mill Hill, he didn't jump on for any other trips, he only wanted to go to Mill Hill and back,” he said.

Southern Downs Regional Council staff will place the headstone for Blackie back on the exact spot of his grave in time for the November 18 celebrations.

In amongst all the history and celebrations, one hopes many will spare a thought on that day for a dog who is part of the history of the Warwick Railway Station.

Topics:  egg throwing queensland rail southern downs regional council

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