From Brisbane, Australia, I mainly write for WeekendNotes, and at present, I enjoy challenging myself to add reviews on many diverse topics to this vast library of articles.
Published February 18th 2021
Rail stop deeply entrenched in Outback history
Centrally located, a charming old station remains a hub it was of yesteryear, by hosting the Spirit of the Outback by Queensland Rail. Longreach Railway Station, in terms of my mini outback tour, was my first and last taste of Longreach, so I was there at two contrasting times and got to see it in different ways. It has washrooms, a travel agency there, a small display of the yesteryear in a glass cabinet, Anzac Memorial Park across the road, which is a neat little park, and, a safe and quiet feel to the place both late at night and early in the morning.
Longreach railway station is really old, it terminated the Central Line in 1892 and later it was extended to Winton to link up with the Northern Line. It terminates for the Spirit of the Outback train service. I was still surprised to see a travel agent in one of the old restored rooms, yet less surprised to find out about heritage listing - how it met the criteria and why it met so much of the criteria. For instance, criterion E is about the aesthetic quality of the building, well, it states on the heritage Queensland government pages, that, "The passenger station, platform awning and refreshment room exhibit aesthetic characteristics valued by the community as finely-detailed and well-executed examples of railway buildings," so, it is in fact a bit of a masterpiece, and that complemented the secure, yet wild yet not out of control atmosphere. The place was an adventure, it gets you on edge in the best possible way, when it's not a swarm of locusts or these crazy green beetles then it's outdoor flies swarming vigorously around your face in the sunshine. You'll know when you are there, you'll know the place is laid back, yet wild.
But on a more practical note, I just think, it also adds up when you get there, you can see the why - why Longreach is what it is, but what I am getting at is it left a mighty good impression, I thought, with everything the place has put me through I somehow don't want to go home. Hence it becomes a lifetime aim to get to Winton for a day or two, a day or two in Longreach, by plane, train or bus or car, and find out if that is the truth, I just can't tell if the place would get more or less likeable as the holiday progressed, yet I am ultimately fairly intrigued by all I witnessed when there.
Spirit of the Outback train near departure time at Longreach
The station is on the Landsborough Highway, and the station's front is directly opposite of Anzac Memorial Park. It's a bit confusing because the Capricorn Highway is on course to meet with it, but teh Capricorn Highway ends in Barcaldine, so the Landsborough meets Capricorn there, and continue on to Longreach, through and onto Winton.
The ticket office is a mini travel agent, reason I say that is because it has tour brochures on a stand, and that is near the historical memorabilia display. Most stations up to Emerald don't have that facility, hence Longreach is a bit different in that sense. Emerald and Longreach are the major hubs in that area while Barcaldine a historic point of interest due to the tree of knowledge.