To date, we have gone for a nostalgic wander up the Texas, Allora, Brisbane Valley and Injune Branches.
Today, lets take a stroll along the Cecil Plains line!
To start, what I can tell you is;
There were three staff sections in the late 80's - early 90's before the line was shut;
Oakey - Boolee (White sqare)
Boolee - Evanslea (Blue Round)
Evanslea - Cecil plains (Red diamond).
Closer to the end, Boolee was considered part of Oakey station "yard".
It was mainly prime 1700 - 1720 class territory, although I have travelled the line once by 1901 class railmotor, and once behind C17 974.
The only station buildings on the line towards the end were;
Aubigny ( a small tin shed, skillion roof and picket gate - similar to waiting shed formerly at Greenmount)
Mount Tyson (cream shed and gang trolley sheds only)
Purrawunda ( A railmotor type shed, similar to that of the likes of Malmoe, Grosvenor on the Monto Branch, or Doboy in Brisbane - a basic single pitched skillion rooved shed).
Cecil Plains ( A proper station building, built of the pre-fab concrete kit construction, almost identical to that of Mulgildie, Eidsvold, Abercorn etc on the Monto branch).
Boolee and Evanslea were small green wooden boxes about 2m tall by 1m square, with nameboard attached tot he supporting stilts, that only housed a control phone and the staff boxes.
Cecil Plains was the last station to have an attendance, with a Station Mistress keeping things in order until the line quietened off.
It would have shut (I trust someone will be able to provide an exact date) completely by 1994, as I know in 92 / 93 a few grain specials made it to Bongeen and Norwin, and a steamer made it to Aubigny in 93, as I understand the line from Aubigny to cecil Plains was by that stage considered questionable for traffic.
From memory, it was a fairly flat, reasonably straight country branch line with limited features by way of scenery. There were some nice creek and river crossings closer to Cecil Plains, where the line crossed the Condamine River. On the last trip I went on (an ARHS steam tour with 974), it was a typical country affair, with local clubs, groups and misc, providing ample BBQ's and food / drink stalls, along with entertainment being provided by way of bush poetry, and the local SES giving rides in their boat up the river a little, for a small donation. I did truly enjoy the simplicity and sincerity of true bush hospitality back then....
There were a multitude of grain silos along the branch, as well as a major cotton gin ( at Cecil Plains IIRC), so its closure was questionable, - but then again, so has been the closure of many branches...but lets not dwell on this. The last time I saw the line was when driving a coach load of golfers to a rather p1ssy golf day at Cecil Plains back in 96, and by then the line beyond Boolee was well and truly roooted - most of it toward Cecil Plains had been washed away.
I am aware that they MAY still be stroing wagons at Boolee, which is only 1km or less from Oakey station, and to do this, the highway level crossing had to be reactivated.
So, what does anyone else recall / know about this classic little black-soil branch?