Centenary celebrations in Ravenshoe

Ravenshoe to celebrate centenary of passenger train


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A day of festivities is planned on December 11 in Ravenshoe to mark 100 years of the arrival of the first steam passenger train in the town.

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The Silver Bullet.

The Silver Bullet.

Descendants of two women who cut the ribbon celebrating the first passenger train on the Ravenshoe rail line 100 years ago will return to the town to commemorate the service’s centenary.

A day of festivities has been planned for Sunday, which will begin with country markets from 7am, a silver spike demonstration, children’s games, food and live music. 

The official part of the program, with guests including Transport Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe, will happen at 12.45pm when a re-enactment of the ribbon cutting is held.

Scarlett Shannon, whose great grandmother Rose Beh held the ribbon as a young girl, and Lindy Kidner, whose husband and railway committee chair John Kidner is a nephew of Kate Beh, who held the other end of the ribbon, will take part.

Committee member Edna West, whose husband Grahame instigated interest in running the Ravenshoe Steam Railway when branch lines were shut down in 1988, said historic records showed Joe Maloney cut the ribbon 100 years ago.

The committee has been unable to find descendants of Mr Maloney.

Today's Ravenshoe Steam Train. Funding is required to upgrade three bridges on the route from Ravenshoe to Tumoulin to allow the train to restart.

Today's Ravenshoe Steam Train. Funding is required to upgrade three bridges on the route from Ravenshoe to Tumoulin to allow the train to restart.

Mrs West said the train’s passengers included Mrs Simpson, the first lady station master. 

She said the train transported timber items during World War I and soldiers into the area for jungle training in World War II.

The steam railway grew from the closure of the railway line between Ravenshoe and Atherton when the region’s rainforests were World Heritage listed. 

The tourist train is currently not operating.

It was shut down two years go and is currently under a prohibition notice, with an estimated $3.5 million required to repair three bridges on the route from Ravenshoe to Tumoulin.

The story Centenary celebrations in Ravenshoe first appeared on North Queensland Register.

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