Loading
In Training
In October 2022 my wife, son and I joined the local railway museum and heritage railway in our rural city, Toowoomba Queensland Australia. This was inspired by my desire to spend time with our son once a week doing something in some part of the community.

He has been living away from us for a while under a support package from Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme. This has been a wonderful thing for my wife and I. He has 24 hour support in a house with 3 other clients, and transport to some supported activities. He is also happy not to have his parents around all the time.

The museum, DownsSteam, was started by people who thought that the last survivng locomotive built in Toowoomba should be brought to Toowoomba and be restored to operation. This has taken them much longer than anticipated. I had visited them twice years ago. The site was getting developed, carriages acquired and developed, restorations done for others, but the loco at the centre seemed not to progress.

Then while my eye was off them they gained a volunteer with good steam loco knowledge and some funding from a generous donor. So when we joined they had an operational loco and were getting through the hoops to be able to run on Qld govt track. A very pleasnt surprise.

Now my son gets delivered to the site around lunchtime on Saturdays. We have lunch with the other restorers then we sweep the lunchroom (it's a former tram from Melbourne) then we sweep the shed for a couple of hours and the odd other task. I 'work' there on the Saturday morning and usually on Thursdays also. I'm now on a training path to become a fireman on steam locos.

2 comments

Aus Blue said:

Oh i just saw this Graham..thats pretty wonderful for you and your son ..i hope now its 2024 its still happening!
4 weeks ago

GrahamH replied to Aus Blue:

It happened today, after a few weeks break, due to my being busy last Saturday and he being sick the previous 2 weeks.
3 weeks ago