Biographical Info


swanbank / box flat and lunch at marburg


Cody in his new The 2 Hour Circle Beanie

Happy Volunteers

june 2021

Recently we set out to make a short 2 Hour Circle video episode, focusing on the Swanbank Heritage Train Line, but decided to change it up.

Back in the day, newspapers were king and smart phones were unheard of, so we felt this was more appropriate.

The first thing that happens when you arrive at the historic Swanbank Train Station, is you will be greeted by all of the wonderful volunteers that give up their time on a Sunday to make your nostalgic 75 minute train ride all the more enjoyable.


Swanbank train volunteers at your service

Directory Directory

Welcome to the historic Swanbank Railway Station

A full & memorable morning in Ipswich

Dalase SHilling

The more I dive into the history within the 2 Hour Circle, the more I find that our railway history is vast and amazing. The scary thing is, that unless you ask the question, a lot of our railway history is at risk of completely disappearing. Thank goodness for projects like the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, the good people at Coonyanna and the wonderful volunteers at Swanbank.

I’ve been meaning to do this scenic little train ride for a really long time and, without giving you all of the excuses under the sun, I just decided to clear my calendar and make it happen. What a wonderful nostalgic experience.

From the moment we pulled up in the car park I knew it was going to be worth every penny, which was not particularly expensive, under $75.00 for 3 adults. Forget about adulting – I felt like a kid, full of anticipation, waiting on the old platform for my train to arrive.

Though the train normally runs on steam, on this particular occasion they ran a beautiful old diesel engine. For me though, the experience was about the old timber carriages with their sash windows and pressed metal ceilings, the timberwork, old upholstery, the wrought iron arm rests and the original signage. These are all there to enhance the wonderful nostalgic experience.

How good was it to be able to sit in your chair with your window open, relaxing with your elbow out the window and sucking in the country air whilst the train cuts its’ way along the original train line. You tend to forget how much rural landscape still exists in the city until you get onto something like this. You think about what you are looking at out the window as the old carriage creaks and groans. It makes you think about a time when things were all made by hand and a day’s work meant that you literally put your back into it.

I thought I might tell you where the train takes you, but I really think that this is something you need to experience for yourself.


Swanbank Railway Station

box flat memorial

lunch at the mansion

The Old Tiger and the Timber Floors

Guided bus tour


The Heritage Bus Association runs a short guided tour that runs alongside the train ride, so we were treated to this historic tour as well.

The wonderful gentleman who drove the bus for us, was not only passionate about our local history but extremely knowledgeable. Even as a local, you might just pick up a couple of things that you didn’t know about the area.

But how about this old bus! The first thing that I noticed, oddly enough, was that the wheels of the bus sat well inside of the wheel arch. This piqued my curiosity.

Directory Directory

Having been a bus driver myself, I knew that this was not the norm. So I asked the question. It turns out that the old Tiger Directory was originally from South Australia and was quite a bit wider than the buses that were normally run in the Brisbane area at that time.

I also noticed that the hand rails around the doors were inset, along with the buses indicators. Directory

There is a whole story around that alone, which your bus driver will gladly tell you. I personally thought it was really cool.


What a great way to spend a morning in Ipswich

Photos provided by David Buttner

Directory Directory



Rusty gold and old timber


A tragic history

One stop on the bus tour was the Box Flat Memorial. This memorial is a tribute to those who lost their lives.

The words in text here were taken from a plaque on display at the memorial.

At 2.47am on Monday 31st July, 1972, many Ipswich residents were awakened by a deep loud thunderous rumbling and the feeling that their homes had shaken. What was originally thought to be an earthquake was in fact the worst disaster in the history of the Ipswich community and one of Queensland’s worst mining tragedies.

They would later discover that 17 miners had lost their lives in a massive explosion at Box Flat Mine and that many others were seriously injured.

The previous evening a fire which started in the mine had grown to the stage that it could not be extinguished. A final team of 14 men entered the mine via “no 7” tunnel to investigate and explore options to contain the fire. Three more men were stationed and working at the entrance to the “No 5 Conveyor Belt Tunnel.

A short time later a huge explosion was to claim the lives of all 17 men.

Rescue and recovery efforts were proposed but were not undertaken due to the danger of further explosions and the reality that no-one could possibly have survived underground. The mine was then sealed, entombing those who remained.

Critical injuries sustained from the incident eventually claimed the life of another man.”

Tommy Smith Café Marburg

Lunch at the Tommy Smith Café at Marburg is the perfect way to top off a historical immersion morning.



Categories: Rides & Drives
Updated 6 months ago.
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