Toowoomba Live Steamers Inc (TLS) are in the final stages of relocating to their new location at Lemway Park, on Lemway Avenue, Kearney Springs, Toowoomba.
For a number of years the TLS track location at Kearney Springs Historical Park has been plagued by a flying fox colony roosting in the trees above the track and station buildings. As a result, public attendance and passenger numbers had seriously declined due to the public’s health concerns about the animals – and of course, with a comparable serious decline in fare revenue used to fund TLS’s recurrent expenses.
After many discussions and representations over many years to Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) and more recent community consultation by TRC with potentially a new neighborhood, a new location at Lemway Park was agreed. This new site is only 800m north of the current Spring Street site, also in the same suburb, Kearney Springs.
Toowoomba Regional Council engaged consultants for the design of a new track layout, and station and clubhouse buildings, and provided it’s funding. Construction of the earthworks for the track and the new shed for the club house and storage commenced in September 2016. Although there have been some delays, the new site is nearing completion.
Whilst TRC is providing much of the new infrastructure, Toowoomba Live Steamers is required to lay the gravel ballast and relocate the steel track itself. The new track layout is about 900m long, about 300m longer than the old track, so new track has needed to be built. The new track will maintain the dual 5” and 7¼” gauges.
Toowoomba Live steamers Inc has only a small membership and a small band of dedicated people have been toiling with laying the gravel ballast, welding of the new track, laying and levelling of the track, and relocating gear and club loco’s … and even relocating the old Coal Shed! TLS also appreciates the assistance of some members of the local PCYC who have helped with much younger muscles to lay the track. Thank you!
All things going well, TLS might be ready to run trains again during Spring 2017 … dependant on weather, working bees … and continued good health for members to contribute.