Queensland Rail today partnered with Redlands RSL to honour the Centenary of Armistice and the more than 62,000 Australians who lost their lives in World War I, through a commemorative ‘Troop Train’ service from Brisbane’s CBD to Cleveland.
More than 300 current and former servicemen and women boarded the special charter at Central Station to travel to a special Remembrance Day 2018 service by Redlands RSL and to re-enact the troop train activities of the past.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said he was honoured to join Queensland Rail, Queensland and Redlands RSL representatives, and current and former servicemen and women to commemorate Remembrance Day 2018 through the special Troop Train re-enactment.
“During the Great War, Troop Trains played an integral role in transporting troops travelling to or returning from conflict, as well as horses and equipment and those who were sick or wounded," Mr Bailey said.
“The regional areas of Toowoomba and Warwick became major centres for train movements during World War I, carrying up to 400 soldiers at a time to Central station, where they were then transported by motor cars to the Military Hospital at Kangaroo Point.
“Troop trains also travelled to regional areas including Wallumbilla, Warwick and Barcaldine to assist with recruitment activities, encouraging locals to sign up and serve their country.
“By June 1917, the Queensland Railways recorded that 2,473 of its own employees had enlisted, of whom 91 tragically lost their lives and 105 experienced injury. By the war’s end, 25 per cent of the train fleet was held up awaiting repair, however work had to be postponed due to shortages of materials and workers to perform the work.
"Those travelling on the train, including members of the Gallipoli Barracks and Light Horse Brigade, will march from Cleveland station along Shore Street East to Anzac Centenary Park and then onto Kinsali Park for a Remembrance Day service and re-enactments."
Mr Bailey said all veterans and their families had been offered free travel on the Queensland Rail and TransLink networks for Remembrance Day (11 November), to help connect them with local or regional Centenary of Armistice activities.
“Offering free travel on Remembrance Day as a mark of respect to the men and women who have served our country is the least we could do to mark this occasion and assist them to easily access services across spouth east Queensland.”