Portfolio of Queensland Railways - Pictures from the 1950's
Sydney-Brisbane Express 1962
1081 (a Walkers engine from 1957, only 5 years old) beginning the downhill
descent from Harristown to Toowoomba under the Stephens Street bridge with
the Sydney- Brisbane express on an early afternoon, 1962. The contrast in
colours needs to be imagined. The red volcanic earth showing through on
the opposite cutting, the glistening Hawthorn Green of the engine, the vermilion
buffer and rubbed stainless steel boiler bands, the deep green of the large
Carribean pine in the background, and the white contrast of the bridge railings.
Pity I could not afford Kodachrome! But then again, REAL railroad photographers
(example Lucius Beebe) used black and white, didn't they? See below for
a link to a colour image.
To the right was a large army depot, to the left of this scene
stood Concordia College, and my alma mater, Harristown High.
Bill Wallace of Toowoomba, has vivid memories evoked
by the image above, and in an email he had this to say.
"I remember the barracks very well as our family
was one of those
who were moved to the new estate (back then in the early fifties)
opposite the city golf course. Searles Estate it was known as then.
I remember going on to the golf course to pick some of the fruit
they used to have growing there. I also used to go up to the
Harristown sales yard to bum watermelon off the grown-ups - but
they usually made me help with the pigs or calves before they gave
me any melon. Good times though. I personally
relish the days of my youth here in Toowoomba, the
memories I have are brought back vividly by your photograph of the train
passing under the Stephen Street bridge.
This is the spot where in about 1952-3 my brother and I were sliding
down the embankment when there were no trains coming (we lived in the
army huts at Harristown at that time) and he slid right on to the broken
bottom of a beer bottle. I carried him home because he didn't want to go
to the hospital which was just over the railway line......."