Picture courtesy of railshop.com.au
It’s not quite Murder on the Orient Express, but we might need mustachioed detective Hercule Poirot to help solve the mystery of the missing Marburg Railway Station.
It seems the good folk at Rosewood Railway Museum don’t know what happened to the station building after 1964, with the only clue: At some stage it was made smaller than it was at the opening.
“There was a shed at North Rosewood in the 1950s. At opening (1912) there were small stations at Perry’s Nob, Kunkala, Tallegalla and Marburg. Malabar had a cream shed. By the 1960s these were all gone,” recalled museum historians.
“The stations we have are: Rosewood (Mill St) from Fernvale (Brisbane Valley Branch), Cabanda, old Boondall, previously Cabbage Tree Creek on the Sandgate line, and Kunkala from Wacol. The refreshment shop at Kunkala was the waiting shed at Boondall, the signal cabin from Wacol, the toilets from Roma St. We do have the original cream shed from Laidley.”
Cr Pahlke, a self-confessed history buff, said the “search begins” now.
“Firstly, do any Marburgians know its current resting place? Does it, in fact, still exist somewhere?”
On his Facebook page, several locals provided suggestions on where to start looking.
“I thought it was one of the old sheds they put in Main Street near the old bank building,” wrote Kylie Baker.
“I hope it’s found or a replica built at Marburg and maybe open the line up again from Rosewood or a walkway perhaps. I know it was discussed by a businessman in the Marburg area a few years ago,” said Roy Henderson.
“Re-open the line. Build it and they will come,” observed Joe Bloggs.
Many people did not even know that trains once travelled to Marburg.
“Wow, just curious, where or how did line go from Rosewood to Marburg. This is interesting stuff,” said Barbara Grobe.
Lindsay Bishop, from the Rosewood Railway Museum, said he had looked at photographs from the time. A note on one from 1964 indicated members of the Australian Railway Historical Society came to Rosewood to commemorate the last train out of Marburg.
“The photograph of the old Marburg Station is the last physical evidence that it was upright and whole. We have no knowledge of its whereabouts after that,” he said.
“Hopefully it will turn up on a local property and has been re-purposed.”
Mr Bishop said he would love to get to the bottom of the Marburg mystery.
Cr Pahlke said another suggestion for its possible location included Box Flat Junction on the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway line.
But the railway group’s chairman Robert Shearer said that this was most unlikely, although it was a similar looking timber construction. He too thought it had been relocated to a nearby property after the railway closed.
The man most likely to know, local railways historian and retired university academic Greg Cash, is also perplexed.
Greg has written a series of books, including Look Out for Train: 4 – The Marburg Branch, about the once famous coal train line.
“The station certainly got a mention in my book, but to tell the truth, I have got no idea where it ended up,” he said.
“It was definitely kept there until 1964. I remember writing about the station having a telephone to call the station at Rosewood. But it no doubt got moved elsewhere.”
Mr Cash, a self-confessed “train nut”, said while the Marburg and Malabar stations were closed, the line was still used to transport coal from the Rough Rigg mining operations until 1968.
“In one of the photos, it looks like it had been made smaller, maybe it had just been repaired. I have spoken to David Pahlke about it. A real mystery … I wish I could help him.”
A replica of the old station.
Your chance to experience history
Rosewood Railway Museum operates a 79-year-old Rail Motor RMd55 ‘Red Fred’ on some days (last Sunday of each month), and on mid-week charters by special arrangement. The railway is located about 20km west of Ipswich.
The train departs Cabanda station, Rosemount Lane, Tallegalla, every hour and makes its way up the steeply graded line, until about 10-15minutes later it arrives at Kunkala station, the highest point on the line.
The restored route climbs a spur of the Little Liverpool Range, providing 180° scenic views from Mt Flinders to the Great Dividing Range, while visitors experience all the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of an authentic historic steam train journey.
Just like the era it replicates, the Rosewood Railway requires no formal bookings, just arrive and purchase your authentic paper ticket on the day (Adults $12, Children $6 Family $32 Concession $10).