Vintage carriage puts history on track
IF THE yard of the Southern Downs Steam Railway Precinct looks more cramped than usual, it's because it is.
Southern Downs Steam Railway yesterday took possession of a new 42-person carriage.
The carriage, transported from the Railway Museum in Ipswich by Wickham's Freight Lines, was lifted into the yard by Bellingham and Co. Warwick Crane Hire after being donated by Queensland Rail Heritage Vision.
Southern Downs Steam Railway secretary Bob Amos said he took great joy in adding the carriage.
"This is the second of two carriages provided by Queensland Rail Heritage Vision," Mr Amos said.
"We're very grateful for their contributions.
"The other one is already well on the way to being restored.
"This carriage will provide another dimension because it's a pure vintage carriage."
Mr Amos said the carriage needed a lot of work done to it but would be restored to its vintage self as much as possible.
"The carriage has still got all the old woodwork in it," he said.
"We will leave the original seating and other elements as they are. We will do our utmost to restore it without modifying the set-up."
One of the remaining features of the set-up is two separate areas for first and second class, reminiscent of historical societal classes.
"We'll leave that there and have some fun with it," Mr Amos said.
"There are 30 seats in second class and 12 seats in first class with a separate bathroom for each class.
"We might charge a premium for the first class seating," he joked.
Mr Amos said the carriage was one of many exciting things happening at the precinct, with night trips to Clifton on the radar for next year, while the cafe carriage, which is currently only used in the yard, is being prepared for use on trips.
The group has also been asked by Queensland Railway to take part in its 150-year celebrations next year by putting on an overnight trip from Toowoomba-Wallangarra, staying in Stanthorpe and stopping in Warwick in both directions.
The vintage carriage boasts first and second class compartments
The carriage still has its original woodwork