WATCH: Steam train chugs in for Qld Rail's 150th

MORE than 200 people, some in period costumes turned up, at Maryborough West station to welcome the Queensland Rail's heritage steam train as part of Queensland Rail's 150th birthday celebrations.

It was a historic moment for all knowing that Queensland's first steam train was built right here in Maryborough at Walkers Ltd - now known as Downer EDI.

Anne Bradley and John Nestor from Bribie Island were among 300 lucky passengers who got their hands on early tickets, and are stopping in to visit Maryborough.

"We bought ours three months ago and are elated to be part of this history. We will be in Maryborough for two days before taking the normal train back home which won't be as exciting," Ms Bradley said.

A plaque was also unveiled at the station on Thursday afternoon to recognise 150 years of Maryborough's involvement in the rail industry.

Queensland Rail historian Greg Hellam said all tickets to Howard and Mungar had sold out.

"It's been very very popular," Mr Hellam said

More than 1000 people have bought tickets for a ride to reminisce about.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O' Connell said it was a special day for Maryborough.

"Maryborough today and everyday is really the capital of rail. We have a great history in rail. Downer EDI rail is really part of the fabric and the core Maryborough," he said.

On Saturday, from 7am to 10am, people will be able to view the steam locomotive BB 18¼ 1079 at Downers EDI's Bowen St depot.

It was reported earlier that visitors could join the tour but a Downer EDI spokeswoman said it was not open to members of the public for safety reasons.

At 10am , the steam locomotive will travel from Bowen St to to the Mary River Parkland, where people will be able view the train from the pathways.

From 11am the steam loco will travel to Queens Park for further viewing with music by the Maryborough Excelsior City Brass Band.

Passengers on the steam train wave to people on the platform as it arrives at Maryborough West station.
Passengers on the steam train wave to people on the platform as it arrives at Maryborough West station. Hayden Johnson


Topics:  birthday downer edi maryborough maryborough west queensland rail steam train

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