The toot of the whistle was the signal and everyone at Cloncurry railway station got excited – the steam train had arrived.
The C150 steam train to be precise, to celebrate the town’s 150th birthday and it landed in town on Thursday afternoon.
It brought a full QR crew plus almost 100 passengers, including one couple from Toowoomba celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
Most are ready to stay the weekend and enjoy the treats of winter in the north west before it heads back to Townsville.
The train powered by a Class BB 18 ¼ locomotive – which built in 1958 was the last steam locomotive built and placed in service in Australia – left Townsville on Monday and called in at Charters Towers, Hughenden, Richmond and Julia Creek picking up passengers and gifts from each council region along the way.
It was serenaded by students in Hughenden singing the national anthem, left Richmond Thursday morning and picked up a Cloncurry Council delegation at Julia Creek for the last three hours into Cloncurry.
There it was welcomed by Mayor Greg Campbell as well as locals and visitors with a sausage sizzle while the town’s new anthem That’s Cloncurry belted out over the tannoy.
The event kicks off a big weekend with the annual cattleman’s dinner Thursday and the Show Friday and Saturday opened by the Governor General.