Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich

Wow, what a fabulous day!

We spent Tuesday at the Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich ( where they were holding a Thomas the Tank Engine special. Thomas and some of his mates were visiting from the UK -- where they were freezing their buffers off, according to the Fat Controller. The kids had such a great time, there was so much to do, and we didn't even get all the way around the museum.

We upgraded our tickets to an annual pass before the day came to an end -- it was the same price as two visits (and this visit was included as one) and it means that we get free entry for a year. Slade and Kai were so keen on the place that they really want to go back in the next few weeks before they go back to school and while Thomas is still there. And there are a whole lot of exciting events during the year -- there's the Bunny Eggventures over Easter, and then the Toyland Express during the April school holidays, the June/July holiday event is the Circus Train, Santa visits at the end of November, and then there's a special Christmas theme in December. So I'm sure we'll use the pass well.

So what did we get up to? We met the Fat Controller (Sir Topham Hatt), who was very entertaining; there were play train sets in the Thomas play pit that entertained the kids for ages (and the room was air conditioned which was great for all of us!); there was a place to do drawings and a bouncy train (or jumping castle) and a wonderful model railway set that showed different areas of Queensland including the outback, the mountainous, forest scenery on the Cairns to Kuranga route, sugar cane plantations, and the city of Brisbane. We also went on a mini train.

We didn't get time to go behind the scenes and see the working workshops -- the oldest continually operating workshops in Australia -- where they actually restore trains. The Workshops are really an historic spot -- the first train to run in Queensland steamed from there over 140 years ago. Over 200 steam locomotives were constructed there.

No comments: