A crowd of about 30 people turned up at Blackbutt’s Nukku siding trailhead behind the Roy Emerson Museum last Friday to officially unveil the restoration of Blackbutt and Benarkin’s railway signals (Photo: BDTHA)

March 14, 2024

Blackbutt and Benarkin’s railway signals have returned to both towns after an absence of close to 30 years.

Last Friday, friends and supporters of the Blackbutt & District Tourism and Heritage Association (BDTHA) gathered at the restored Nukku trailhead behind the Roy Emerson Museum for the official unveiling of the Blackbutt signal tower, along with a reconstructed railway crossing signal.

BDTHA president Dinah Jones told the crowd of about 30 the railway signals had resurfaced thanks to the generosity of Harlin couple Lynn and Lorraine White.

Soon after the Brisbane Valley railway line closed in 1993, the State Government auctioned off surplus railway equipment and the couple bought the two signal towers for $5 with the intention of using them to create a lighting feature on their property.

However – when the signals were delivered – they were dropped along the couple’s front fence line and because of their solid steel construction, had stayed there ever since.

BDTHA had heard about the signals by chance, and when they approached the couple, they agreed to donate them to the museum.

The generosity of the White family is now recorded on plaques affixed to the signal at Blackbutt and its sibling, which has now been re-sited at Benarkin Park near its original location.

Many of the parts for the railway crossing signal, meanwhile, were donated by a family in Moore who once had the railway cross a corner of their property.

Other parts of the railway crossing signal were prefabricated to produce an almost exact replica of the crossing signs that were once a common sight along the Brisbane Valley line.

Dinah thanked the many people who had assisted with both projects, before concluding the official unveiling ceremony with a morning tea.

The railway signal and a complementary railway crossing sign were donated by Harlin and Moore residents (Photo: BDTHA)

Lynn and Lorraine White from Harlin were thanked by BDTHA president Dinah Jones at the opening
(Photo: BDTHA)

Lynn and Lorraine’s contribution has been marked with plaques affixed to both of the signal poles they donated (Photo: BDTHA)
The signals will form a new part of BDTHA’s restored Nukku siding complex, which has been built up over the past decade as a trailhead for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Photo: BDTHA/Joel Thomas)


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