FLASHBACK: Earlier this year, Murgon Men’s Shed president Dave Mollenhauer and secretary Allen Mitchell showed Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien, centre, the work the group has done so far on a 101-year-old railway carriage

August 25, 2020

Murgon’s Men’s Shed will have their grounds enlarged by almost 3400 sq m so two railway carriages displayed next to the former Murgon Railway Station can be moved to form the core of a railway display.

The two carriages were acquired by the Men’s Shed and moved to the site in late 2016 with the idea of creating a trailhead ahead of the South Burnett Rail Trail’s opening.

Since then, Men’s Shed members have been restoring the carriages, a task that has proved to be more time-consuming than originally expected but one that is showing steady progress.

At August’s monthly South Burnett Regional Council meeting, Councillors were told the Men’s Shed now wanted to build a shelter to enclose the carriages.

This would not only protect the carriages from the elements and vandalism but also allow the group to create an expanded railway display over time, possibly including extra rolling stock.

The South Burnett Rail Trail is built on a former rail corridor owned by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR).

DTMR has leased the land to Council, who are empowered to grant sub-leases to community groups and businesses who want to use land or buildings along the corridor for other purposes.

However, DTMR objected to the Men’s Shed’s proposal because the Department believed land used for the Rail Trail should be kept free of obstructions to allow full public access.

To solve the problem, Council officers recommended the Men’s Shed existing site lease – which adjoins the railway station in Macalister Street – be expanded to allow the group to move the carriages to a new location off the Rail Trail but immediately next to it.

Councillors agreed. An expanded lease will be given to the group but the Men’s Shed will have to arrange to have the two carriages moved.

The group will now seek funding to hire a crane capable of shifting the carriages a short distance to their new, permanent home.

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