lifelong interest in steam locomotives and a boyhood dream of building my
own miniature railway led to my wife Susan and I purchasing this property
in December 1992 with a view to fulfilling the dream. Luckily I had
misjudged how much work was ahead of us or I’m sure we wouldn’t have
After spending the first six
months wandering around the property on weekends taking levels and
measurements I settled on a design for the track. The first sod was turned
in June 1993 at the site of Glenfinnan station and work continued at a
slow but steady pace until the main circuit was completed in October 1999
after completion of the curved brick viaduct, which was inspired by a
large curved viaduct at Glenfinnan in Scotland. Our version took 18 months
to build working mainly on weekends and contains approximately 7,000
bricks. To celebrate the completion of the main circuit, an opening
ceremony was held on Sunday 17th October 1999. Friends and members of the
Queensland Society of Model & Experimental Engineers helped celebrate
the day with some members bringing their locomotives and carriages to test
the new track. I had been so busy building the track that I had no
locomotive of my own to run on it. Fortunately, I was able to purchase a
suitable locomotive in November 1999 from its builder Geoff Murdoch. This
freelance narrow gauge 2-6-2 locomotive (EMILY) has proved itself to be a
powerful & reliable performer. It handles the sections of 1 in 50
& 1 in 40 gradients with ease.
The next stage involved the extension up the hill to Ferntree Gully and
yet another bridge. This time
in timber and inspired by a truss bridge on the now abandoned railway line
just north of Tenterfield. The last section of track on this stage was
completed in July 2005. Hopefully, the final stage will be an extension
out towards the front of the property and you guessed it, more bridges.
As the railway began to snake
its way around we decided to plant a few trees for shade and a few shrubs
to add a bit of interest. We soon discovered that landscaping is also a
very satisfying pastime and started reading up on it with the hope that we
might be able to create a suitable backdrop for the railway. The cooler
winters have made it possible to grow some deciduous trees to provide
colour and we plan to plant
many more trees in the coming years. Other plantings include Camellias,
Magnolias, Hydrangas,Azaleas,Clivias & various Conifers.
assistance and encouragement from friends has kept the dream alive.
Although at times the amount of work still to be done seems a little
daunting, when we walk around and look at progress so far it spurs us on.