Cunnamulla All Aboard

The Paroo Progress Association Inc. wishes to strengthen the heritage rail experience by providing a visual, light and sound sensory attraction for visitors at night. The show should depict the town’s rail heritage including the importance of the rail to previous generations of people settling in this area, providing jobs, and supporting pastoral communities to socialise and stay in touch.

The railway opened in Cunnamulla on 10 October 1898 and was originally serviced by steam engines under the Queensland Rail flagship ‘The Western Mail’ which was renamed ‘The Westlander’ in the 1950s. These trains carried supplies, people and stock and were an important link to the outside world for isolated families.

During WW1 and WW2, the train brought soldiers home and these trains were greeted to the sounds of the town band, which was always on hand to welcome our troops.

These stories and images still evoke strong emotions within our local community.

There are wonderful parallels with the steam engines of the early 1900s and the fighter planes of WW1; or the social differences and lived experiences of people in outback Queensland compared to lifestyles and events on the world stage.

There are many stories of the people who worked on building the railway line, from Charleville to Wyandra and on to Cunnamulla; and also those who serviced passengers on the 810 km trip from Toowoomba to Cunnamulla, via Dalby, Roma and Charleville, a 24 hour one way trip. The supporting carriers who met the train and transported mail and supplies, and sometimes people, to stations and towns beyond Cunnamulla provide a wealth of stories and colourful characters to develop the narrative.

The passenger rail services to Cunnamulla and Quilpie were withdrawn in 1994.

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Next Steps...

Join us through your sponsorship or donation in bringing this community asset back to it's former glory with an educational and entertaining sound and light show.