Grandchester Model Live Steam Association Inc. (GMLSA)
Early in 1994, Jeff 'Jake' Gillam, the current Vice President of the association, called a public meeting of people interested in forming a new club in the Grandchester area for the purpose of operating Model Live Steam Locomotives.
The local community, as well as several model Engineers from surrounding areas, expressed enthusiasm for such a project and by the end of that year the G.M.L.S.A.I. was up and running. Land for the clubs tracks and buildings within sight of of the original Bigges Camp station was leased from the Ipswich City Council and a major fundraising program was established to get the project underway.
With lots of support from local residents, businesses, council and interested government departments, club members worked untiringly and the new track was officially opened to the public on the 1st August 1998. At this time the club had 25 active members, was affiliated with the Australian Association of Live Steamers (A.A.L.S.), and had relocated and restored the old Yarongmulu Station to the grounds.
The Old Station
This building was originally the signal cabin at Yarongmulu on the Little Liverpool Range between Laidley and Grandchester. Yarongmulu (Aboriginal for sandstone) was initially a condition stop at the Western end of the Victoria Tunnel from 1866 until a siding was built in 1880-81. The siding was known as Victoria and an interlocked cabin was erected in 1891 with Victoria Station, S&WR, operating from 1893.
In 1912 an electric staff station called 48 Miles was opened but then renamed YARONGMULU on 6th February 1913. In 1914 the cabin was moved to a site near the deviation and by 1945 the position of Station Master (5th class) was abolished, ending its life as a station. The building was used to house disconnected points levers when permission was gained to remove it to Grandchester. It arrived to its present site in May 1997 and took over 12 months to restore.
This Queensland Government owned corporation today operates some of the worlds most sophisticated rolling stock on over 10 000 kilometres of 1076mm gauge railways to virtually every important centre in the State of Queensland. It had its humble beginnings on the 31st July 1865 by running a train on the first 32 kilometres of line from Ipswich to Bigges Camp, which was later renamed Grandchester.
Unlike all of the other railways in Australia at that time, the Southern & Western Railway as it was called was Government planned from the beginning.
Trains travelling today to Toowoomba and points further West still follow this same route past the original Grandchester Station.
Grandchester Model Live Steam Association © 1998 - 2012 | All Rights Reserved
2 Ipswich Street, Grandchester, QLD, 4340
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Site last updated Sunday 8th April 2012 11:49a.m.