Train to Winton: Railway and Trains: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

© irene waters 2020

As an adult I have had three distinct train/railroad experiences. One at Dorrigo when I stumbled across a train museum, another in New Zealand when we went from Dunedin to Taieri Gorge an incredibly scenic journey. For today’s challenge I have the fortune of just returning from a train trip to Winton. Winton is in the far west of North Queensland, 1,325 kms by train from where we live. We decided to travel by economy class as it is part of Australia my husband has not experienced, it is steeped in dinosaur history and it was a place we could travel with COVID 19 restrictions.

© irene waters 2020

I was excited until I realised that the length of time we would be sitting up would be longer than a trip to Switzerland and that knocks us about. We hopped on at Cooroy late afternoon. Not 100% certain what the equipment on the platform was for – perhaps grabbing the mail bags or dropping coal in when the train was steam powered but I’m fairly certain it is no longer in use. As night fell we flashed past the odd light and then the odd town.

© irene waters 2020
© irene waters 2020

Because of the pandemic there were no people sitting either in front or behind us and we were given the entire row. The seats were from the first class seating from the Sunlander (another Queensland rail route) and incredibly comfortable allowing us to sleep reasonably well. There was also the dining car shown above and below. We went and ordered our meal from the galley which was a bit of a test for Roger, who is a little unsteady on his feet, as we had to move between cars but it made a big difference being able to move around.

© irene waters 2020

In the morning as the scenery changed from grassy to desert like we arrived at a place called Alpha.

We were allowed out for a 10 min stop. The platform was tiny (reminded me of the Australian film Wake in Fright) and the train hung over at either end of the platform. Anyone who wanted to get off had to come down to our carriage so where you see the ramp that was where we were situated on the train.

Despite the small size of the town it boasted four pubs of which two are featured above. The brick one being creatively called the brick pub.

Whilst there we saw our first road train. These are lorries that have a minimum of three hook ons at the back and are very common in the Northern Territory, Queensland and probably Western Australia. They hurtle along at great speed and are terrifying to attempt to overtake. Back to our train…

© irene waters 2020

Another stop at Barcoldine but that will be the subject of another post and eventually Longreach. Bus to Winton. And then the home journey

© irene waters 2020
© irene waters 2020

Waving goodbye to Longreach.

© irene waters 2020

As we crossed the Great Dividing Range back to the coast we snaked around the mountains giving us great views of the train and scenery.

© irene waters 2020

We enjoyed this rail journey so much that we have booked another – this time to Cairns. We hope it will be as enjoyable as this one.

Thanks to Cee for hosting the Fun Foto Challenge.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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9 Responses to Train to Winton: Railway and Trains: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

  1. This is lovely, Irene. It looks like a fantastic adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cee Neuner says:

    Oh what a marvelous ride you took us on 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would love to do some train trips in Queensland one day if life ever becomes normal enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an interesting adventure you had. I’m glad you and Roger got to travel this way. I’ve always loved trains. My first train ride was our kindergarten train ride in Alabama. We little kids got on an train and rode it to the end of the line where we ate our brown paper bag lunches brought from home, and then we rode the train back. It was the only day of kindergarten I liked.


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