September 17, 2021
A $15,000 grant from the Federal Government will help the Murgon Men’s Shed move ahead with their historic railway display at Murgon.
Men’s Shed Members have been restoring a wooden 1918 passenger car and a steel goods wagon over the past five years.
However, plans to have the carriages – and a steam locomotive the group is negotiating to acquire – permanently located inside a shelter on the old railway line encountered a hiccup when the Department of Transport said the rail corridor had to remain open for public access.
The shelter is necessary to protect the carriages from weather and vandalism.
To solve the problem, South Burnett councillors voted last year to extend the Men’s Shed lease to allow them to display the carriages inside a shelter to be built beside the rail corridor, next to the former station building.
However, the Men’s Shed would have to pay for the relocation for the carriages.
Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien visited the Murgon’s Men Shed on Thursday – one of his first public activities since his recent motorcycle crash – to inspect the work on the carriages and to hand over the $15,000 grant.
“The Murgon’s Men Shed members have done an incredible job to restore a 100-year-old first- and second-class carriage and a steel goods wagon that were rescued from a yard near Rockhampton after being decommissioned in the 1980s,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This $15,000 grant through the Stronger Communities Program will enable the shed to hire a crane to lift them into place to form part of the planned Rail Museum at the start of the South Burnett Rail Trail, and to begin landscaping around the area.”
Once in place, the Rail Display Complex will be built around the carriages and will eventually house the carriages, the steam engine and two section cars.
“The planned Rail Display Complex is a fantastic initiative that will provide a fascinating glimpse into the history of our Queensland railways and boost tourism through the South Burnett, and the Murgon Men’s Shed committee and members are doing a remarkable job to bring it to fruition, so I am pleased to support their work with this federal funding towards the $60,000 project,” Mr O’Brien said.