News

Anzac troop journey to be re-enacted across Queensland

MOVING TRIBUTE: In the week leading up to Anzac Day, a steam train will re-enact the journey many Queensland soldiers took during the first and second world wars.
MOVING TRIBUTE: In the week leading up to Anzac Day, a steam train will re-enact the journey many Queensland soldiers took during the first and second world wars. Queensland Rail

A CENTURY ago, 550 men lined up on the platform at Winton train station, ready to create the Anzac legend on the beaches of Gallipoli.

For 66% of them, it would be a one-way trip.

A similar story is shared by regional towns across Queensland and, in the week leading up to Anzac Day, this historic trip will be faithfully recreated.

A steam train with 200 passengers on board will leave Winton on April 19, making its way across the state and arriving in Brisbane on April 24.

It is a journey 100 years in the making.

Every passenger on the trip can share their story of military history.

Graham McVean is a leading committee member who has dedicated the past 16 months to making the Troop Train a reality.

It has been described as the pre-eminent event commemorating the centenary of Anzac Day.

"The idea came about after I visited Lester and Mary Anderson in Blackwater," he said.

"They suggested a troop train and I thought it was the greatest idea I'd ever heard. Luckily so did Ken."

Mr McVean refers to the federal member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd.

"Our first obstacle was money," he said.

"We wanted a steam train.

"We wanted the trip to be as authentic as possible. Then we were told it just couldn't be done."

Each electorate across Australia has been granted $125,000 for centenary celebrations.

Initial quotes placed the troop train at a cost of $128,000.

Without losing hope, the committee quickly enlisted the help of supportive federal MPs Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott, Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss.

CHECK OUT OUR SPECIAL ANZAC SERIES HERE

Combining their celebration budgets, the troop train suddenly became viable.

"In every town, we will host a wreath-laying ceremony to honour the contribution of the soldiers, and the fallen," Mr McVean said.

"But it's the passengers who are making this trip - 100% of the passengers are over 60 - and they each have their own family histories connected with the war."

  • Day 1 - Sunday, April 19, Winton, Queensland
  • Day 2 - Monday, April 20, Longreach, Queensland
  • Day 3 - Tuesday, April 21, Emerald, Queensland
  • Day 4 - Wednesday, April 22, Rockhampton, Queensland
  • Day 5 - Thursday, April 23, Maryborough, Queensland
  • Day 6 - Friday, April 24, Brisbane, Queensland

Topics:  anzac, anzac-centenary, gladstone, steam train




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

72 hours of things to do

Tim Newland, Gladstone Fishing Network Facebook page admin.

72 hours of things to do

Last minute bid for attention on gay marriage, abortion

Janne Peterson, president of Cherish Life Gladstone has made public callouts to Flynn candidates asking for their stances on abortion. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

Their using ads and letters to show their views

60 years of love to celebrate for Finnish couple: photos, video

Leila and Pertti 'Peter' Kouivunen celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this month.

A Gladstone couple celebrate their long love - 60 years worth.

Latest deals and offers

60th wedding anniversary

Leila and Pertti 'Peter' Kouivunen celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this month.

Leila Koivunen has just celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary with husband...

Zac Beers on MEdicare

Labor held a rally on Dawson Hwy about more cuts to Medicare.

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward