Moving Goods

Moving goods is one of the main functions of rail. In Queensland, railways were primarily built to carry goods, especially exports and rail continues to haul goods of all kinds today.

Before motor vehicles arrived, rail was the main form of transport for freight. It is the most efficient method of land transport for bulk goods or for large quantities over long distances.

Mixed goods trains operated for many years on Queensland's rail network. These trains allowed smaller quantities of a variety of goods – and passengers – to be carried economically across the state.

Get up close to a typical mixed goods train from the 1950s. See the mix of goods that were carried - coal, timber, sheep, farm machinery, farm produce - and passengers, and get a glimpse of life as a guard on mixed goods train.

People looking at a train on display

Things to see and do:

  • See a restored steam locomotive, PB 15 No444, which entered service in 1908 and travelled almost 2 million kilometres before hauling the last ‘official’ steam train for Queensland Railways in the Brisbane region in 1968.
  • Learn about the important safety role of gatekeepers and how this was an early form of social security for widows or women whose husband could no longer work in the railways.
  • See items often associated with a steam train including an oil can, guards lamp, side light and of course the drivers tucker box.
  • Watch a video about PB steam locos and learn how they were designed specifically for hauling passenger carriages but performed so well they also worked as freight locos
  • See the various wagons on this mixed goods train including a sheep wagon, open wagon, flat wagon and a coal hopper.
  • Climb aboard the brake van (the last carriage of a train) and hear Carson McLaughlin, a former train guard, tell you about the various features of his former workspace.