Monday, 10 November 2014

Landsborough: Caloundra's historic railway town

Landsborough Railway Station lies just 20 km west of Caloundra on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. As such, it is the main railway station for Southern Sunshine Coasters to catch a train to the city. Suburban trains between Brisbane and Nambour, interurban trains between Brisbane and Gympie North, along with Tilt Train services to Bundaberg and Rockhampton all stop at the station that opened in 1890. Oh, and one more thing, the station still retains its original wye for turning locomotives around and is a popular destination for steam train tours from Brisbane.

1079 Pacific type 4-6-2 locomotive coming off the wye at Landsborough Railway Station, October 2014.

Saturday 25th October 2014 was one such occasion that a steam train tour passed through Landsborough. Billed as the Glasshouse Country Fair Express, the train ran from Brisbane to Landsborough before the locomotive was turned around to run tender-first to nearby Mooloolah. There after running around its' train, it was once more facing the right direction for the return trip south. While giving the passengers a break to view the lunchtime festivities that were happening in Landsborough as part of the Glasshouse Country Festival, the Australian Railway Historical Society's Sunshine Express Rail Tours operated a return shuttle to Glasshouse Mountains Railway Station and return for Sunshine Coasters wishing to take a ride on the steam train. As such, I was able to take some great photos of the train as it came and went from Landsborough.

Coupled back on to the front of the train, 1079 is ready to depart for Brisbane with the Glasshouse Country Fair Express, October 2014.

But a day spent chasing trains on the Sunshine Coast was not the first time I have visited Landsborough. Living in Caloundra, Landsborough is the closest station for me to catch a train when I travel to Brisbane. Being a scheduled stop for Queensland Rail's Tilt Train services, Landsborough is also one of my highlighted stations in my self-guided travel book Train Tripping Coastal Queensland.

The original 1890 timber station building at Landsborough still stands on platform 1. 2013.

While Landsborough Railway Station underwent a $2.4 million dollar face lift in 2006 that included an overhead walkway complete with a new parking lot, bus interchange and lift access for the disabled, the original 1890 timber station building was retained on platform 1. I've come to like the mix of old and new that Queensland Rail have maintained when refurbishing railway stations on their City Train network, even down to matching the colours of the new extensions to Landsborough's original railway station building. In the past, Landsborough was one of the largest towns on the Sunshine Coast and had a thriving logging industry. Caloundra by comparisson was a tiny fishing village that was 20 km away at the mouth of the Pumicestone Passage. Today Landsborough has a population of 3,706 while Caloundra's population has risen to 41,200.

Queensland Rail's sexy-looking Rockhampton Tilt Train pulls to a halt at Landsborough, 2013.

Today, bus services from Caloundra's Transit Centre connect with all trains that stop at Landsborough Railway Station, including the Bundaberg and Rockhampton Tilt Trains. Now that I am teaching my son to drive a car, Landsborough has become a popular destination during our driving lessons. Not only is Landsborough a convenient place for me to take some pictures of passing trains on Queensland's busy North Coast Line, it is also featured prominently in my book 30 Years Chasing Trains.

100 pages. Full colour print & eBook version available exclusively through

See also: Mooloolah: hiking the old tunnel

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