A visit to Chillagoe, Queensland, September 2010


We visited Chillagoe QLd back in September 2010. It was only a short stay of a day and a night. It was a toss up between visiting the Chillagoe caves or taking in the history of the town. A history tour won the toss. It was late afternoon when we arrived so we drove just outside town to check out the old smelters.

Next morning, like any self respecting railway enthusiast we headed out to the railway station. The last train arrived and left Chillagoe back in 1988 and that was the Chillagoe mixed, a once a week service from Cairns. It bought up the beer, mail, etc,l from Cairns. And on rare occasions maybe a passenger of two - no doubt most of them were rail enthusiasts in the later years.

Even though the last train left many years ago, the towns railway station is an important part of Chillagoes history. But the Chillagoe station at the time of our visit was in a very sad state of repair. White ants were eating it for their breakfast, lunch and dinner. Locals told me that the crews quarters were blown over in the last wet season. With just the goods shed, a toilet and a slowly disintegrating station building, the railway history of Chillagoe could very soon be just a memory. With the wet season approaching, I clicked away with my camera, hoping that I wouldn't be the last person to photograph this important part of Australian history. I hope you enjoy the photographs.