Steam through these 8 things at The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich

All aboard! The train heading for the Workshops Rail Museum will leave in five minutes – do you have a ticket? With hands-on exhibits, train simulators and more, kids and kids at heart will enjoy a full day of fun and history at Australia’s oldest operating railway workshop – and who knows, you may even learn something. 

We went along to explore for ourselves – check out our favourite things to do among the engines.

Let the kids play with school holiday activities

Choo-choo-choose to keep the kids entertained for hours on school holidays as they take part in the Museum’s school holiday program. Activities change each time but how excited the kids will be sure won’t – it also gives you an excuse to visit quarterly and make the most of an annual pass. 

Discover your passion for train driving

Find your calling as Queensland’s next train driver in the diesel locomotive simulator. Put the train into gear, take off the brake, toot the horn and attempt to stop at the next station without overshooting the platform – it’s harder than you think!  

Check out the largest model railway in Queensland 

What is this? A railway for ants? You can’t jump on board these trains but you can marvel at the largest model railway in Queensland while trains journey through suburban Brisbane, coastal landscapes, Outback Queensland and the Kuranda Railway in Cairns. 

Jump into history on the rail in a Queensland carriage  

Ipswich was the birth place of rail in Queensland so it seems only necessary to see where it all began. Did you know that the Workshops employed up to 3000 men and women during World War II, making it one of the state’s largest employers of the time? This is one of the many facts we read aboard the rail in Queensland carriage along with preserved photographs, historic facts and a railway timeline. 

Walk through the still-active workshops on a Heritage Railway Workshops Tour

As the oldest operating railway shop in Australia, the buildings behind the Museum continue to restore and maintain Queensland’s heritage fleet, including the oldest operational locomotive in the country. Join a Queensland Rail employee on a free tour as they share their knowledge of the historic sight. These tours run twice a day at 10.30am and noon, and enclosed footwear is required. 

Climb aboard real trains

We’re guessing most people have been on a train, but we bet you haven’t been inside a carriage of the past. Wander through history and check out the carriages of yester-year including a 2nd class carriage from 1882. Now if only the 1935 refreshment bar was still in service – perfect for a coffee and scone. 

Run loose around Nippers’ Railway

The interactive Nippers' Railway Playground will keep youngsters enthralled with activities such as driving a train, collecting tickets, dressing up, and riding kid-sized trains along a mini railway line. We trialed, tested and failed to successfully ride the mini train bikes (as adults), so we suggest leaving them for the little ones. 

All aboard for Steam Train Sunday

The Workshops Rail Museum

Relive the splendor of a bygone era upon a historic steam train. Departing and returning to Roma Street Station, move freely between the vintage carriages and watch the city stations pass by on your journey – the landscape has certainly changed a bit since the early 1900s. 

Looking for more to do while in Ipswich?

Queensland’s heritage city has stacks to do, particularly with kids. After the rail museum perhaps check out the wildlife at the Nature Centre in Queens Park, or head to Ipswich Art Gallery where child-friendly interactive art exhibitions are the specialty. Here is 37 things to do in Ipswich.

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