Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

All aboard the History Express in Bundy Stop; Hundreds Defy the Rain to Welcome the Q150 Train on Its Bundaberg Stop and to Commemorate the Birth Our Great State

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

All aboard the History Express in Bundy Stop; Hundreds Defy the Rain to Welcome the Q150 Train on Its Bundaberg Stop and to Commemorate the Birth Our Great State

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Flynn

ONE hundred-year-old Margaret Munt was not going to miss the opportunity to see a fond memory of her past stop in Bundaberg on its historic state trip.

In an age of hybrid cars, motorised scooters and tech gadgets, Ms Munt took a trip down memory lane to see an eight-carriage steam train chugging into Bundaberg Station to the fanfare of hundreds of spectators.

"It was just fantastic," Ms Munt said.

In her wheelchair, helped by son John, himself a former Queensland Rail employee, Ms Munt was almost lost in the crowd that filled the station platform.

Bundaberg Regional Council councillors and staff, who dressed for the occasion in Victorian attire, estimated the crowd for the arrival of the train at about 1500, but there was no way to tell how many people crammed onto the platform for the occasion.

"It's just a fantastic turnout," Bundaberg Regional Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said.

Barry Rogers was the man in charge of the 12 Queensland Rail volunteers operating the train.

He said the crowd at Bundaberg, which was barely deterred by a sudden downpour at the train's arrival, was the biggest he had seen on the birthday voyage.

"It's great to see so many people here celebrating this wonderful time," he said.

Even Premier Anna Bligh was impressed by the efforts of Bundaberg residents.

"In Bundaberg, it's great to see councillors and locals alike getting into the Q150 spirit and dressing up in period costume for the occasion and there's so much hoopla," she said this week.

For the enthusiastic crowd, the train not only represented the state's past, but the voyage that saw Queensland turn from a poor colonial relation to a beacon of the commonwealth.

It was an opportunity for residents to remember the best and worst times of the first 150 years of the Sunshine State.

Queensland was born when Queen Victoria signed an Order-in-Council submitted by NSW to create the separate colony on June 6, 1859. …

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