LOOKING BACK: The Mitchell Memorial Park locomotive 200+ C17 Class operating back in the day.
LOOKING BACK: The Mitchell Memorial Park locomotive 200+ C17 Class operating back in the day. Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway

Ipswich group outlines plans for steam train

THE vote to decide the final stop for Mitchell's historic steam train has been pushed back after a Mitchell group expressed interest to keep the train.

The Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway restoration committee has previously approached Maranoa Regional Council requesting it acquires the C17 locomotive from Mitchell Memorial Park to be relocated to Ipswich for restoration.

However, nine Maranoa Regional councillors pushed the vote back at Wednesday's meeting after an alternative option was raised to keep the train in Mitchell.

QPSR spokesman Robert Shearer said if the group was successful in bringing the train back to life, running the train on the Western main line posed heightened risks due to higher speeds, distances and train frequencies.

"In layman's terms it would be a bit like trying to drive an old tractor up the Warrego Highway once a year and trying to avoid being wiped out by B-doubles,” Mr Shearer said.

"QPSR is aiming to operate over the 8km-long branch line at Swanbank at speeds not exceeding 25km/h, making sure the locomotive is given a long second lease of life as the engine is approaching 100years old, putting minimal strain on the parts.”

Due to an expression of interest from the Booringa Heritage Museum on keeping the train, the recommendation was laid on the table with the vote pushed back to the next general meeting on February 27 to allow councillors to hear all proposals.

Booringa Action Group CEO Jeff Watson said he wanted to see an alternative option for the train.