Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Full steam ahead ...

When we visited the Handmade Expo at Ipswich recently, we were thrilled to find out that a vintage steam train was running just nearby.
I didn't even know the Swanbank Vintage Steam Train existed until I was invited by bubbachenille to check out the expo and the train rides.
The train usually operates between Bundamba and Swanbank Stations, but on the day of the expo they offered shorter rides to Box Flat and return, at a reduced price.
The kids have never ridden on a true steam train before, and they were so excited as we boarded the train. (Disclosure: Part of that may have been due to prior consumption of fairy floss...)
Even though the scenery wasn't that exciting for adults (we passed backyards, sports fields, paddocks, unloved buildings, and dumping grounds rather than say, waterfalls and rainforest).
 But did the children care? No way! If anything, the scenery made the ride more exciting. Graffiti-d tunnels? Old tires piled up in the middle of nowhere? Horses? It was kiddie heaven.
C. and H. loved exploring the old carriages, looking out the windows and feeling the air hit them in the face, standing outside and breathing in the noise, movement and steam.
As kids do, they made instant friends with whom to share the experience, and there was a really happy, friendly atmosphere on board.
I loved seeing how much the children loved the experience, and for me personally, it was a reminder of how much fun it is to live in the moment and experience life through their eyes.
The ride was educational as well. The kids delighted in trying out the old-fashioned seats, peeking inside the loos, and learning about transportation in the past.
My favourite part was seeing the excitement and enjoyment in their faces. My least favourite part was being asked if this was how I used to travel in the 'olden days'!
Really, I'm not quite that ancient ...)

Miss H. dubbed this 'cow pat pond' ...
All aboard!
An unloved station...
...and carriages ...
The kids loved standing outside and watching the world go by

They loved the old-fashioned, disgusting loo (which was out of bounds, but curious kids could still sneak a peek).
Oh, this is the fairy floss kicking in...
And again...
Miss 7 takes in the scenery
And waves to the trains' fans ...
We stopped traffic

The kids wanted to know what a 'lavatory' was ...

The Guard kindly retrieved Miss 7's pink beanie after she accidentally dropped it on the tracks while disembarking.
If you go: The Swanbank Vintage Steam Train is operated by the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway Co-Op Ltd. 
The Co-Op is a small group of railway enthusiasts from Ipswich and Brisbane who have worked tirelessly over the years to preserve this iconic part of Queensland history.
It is run entirely by voluntary labour and the support of the community.
For details on dates, prices, times and locations, go to their official website.

Photobucket

9 comments:

Motorbikes_Lady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Motorbikes_Lady said...

Pleased to hear that your children enjoyed it & had heaps of fun it's wonderful to see child(ren) happy.

Our step daughter hasn't had the pleasure yet of riding in a steam train & at $16.00 for an adult ($32.00 for hubby & me) & $9.00 for a child ( a total of $41.00) it's far to dear for us.

Not that she needs to ride in a steam train as she is lucky enough to have pics of her grand-dad (hubby's dad) driving the Flying Scotsman when it came to Australia & have stories told to her by her dad about when he use to work on the railways.

Next time we go down to Sydney we do plan on taking her on some steam model trains that ran once a month which are just as fun. The price for that is only $10.00 for the whole family with free all you can eat bbq & drinks. :-)

Bronnie Marquardt said...

Wow, that sounds like an excellent deal!
Hey if you go on a handmade expo day, the price is $9 for adults, $5 for kids. But the concession price (I am pretty sure that means anyone with a health care card) is only $5, so would be $5 for each of you? I know you then have to get there, but parking is free. You would just have to resist the goodies across the road.

Not Quite Nigella said...

That would be so much fun for them! They look like they're really enjoying themselves and it's always nice when the other people around are welcoming and friendly! :D

The Handmade Expo and Handmade Heaven said...

Oh yay,...isnt it just the greatest...My 2 year old has been on it a couple of times and he thinks that it is the best thing EVER...what a lovely post and thanks for plugging The Handmade Expo

Bronnie Marquardt said...

Oh thanks, it really was awesome, and it's good value too. Can't believe all this is run by volunteers! I love their work ...

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Article writing is also a excitement, if you be acquainted with afterward you can write or else it is difficult
to write.

my web page: how much should i weigh

Anonymous said...

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes that make the most important changes. Thanks for sharing! [url=http://www.nastrificiodebernardi.com/images/maillot-de-football-pas-cher.html]maillot de football pas cher[/url] Good day! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great information you have right here on this post. I am coming back to your web site for more soon. [url=http://www.marseilleforum.com/honeypot/maillot-equipe-de-france-pas-cher.html]maillot france 2014[/url] Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It's on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Superb choice of colors!