Full Steam Ahead Preserving Queensland’s Historic Heartbeat

In the heart of Ipswich, lays the sleepy town of Swanbank, where the echoes of bygone eras meet the aspirations of the future, and the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway (QPSR) once an important relic of history; has become a living and breathing classroom.

The QPSR is run completely by volunteers, who have put great efforts into preserving this part of history for locals and visitors alike to enjoy for generations to come. Major Training Group is proud to have partnered with QPSR, to create a niche program conceptualised by Donna Isaacs, Energy Skills Queensland’s Skilling and Diversity Manager, to provide students an opportunity to undertake a Cert II in Resources and Infrastructure. The program is funded by the state government under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, and is not just preserving history; it’s nurturing the curiosity and passion of the next generation, ensuring that the legacy of steam rail travel continues to chug along.

Ipswich has a rich rail history, dating right back to 1865, when it boasted Queensland’s first railway station. A booming coal trade in the state, readily fueled the locomotives which were both a romanticised way to travel and an essential mode of transportation for goods throughout this region. The iconic Sunlander carriages have frequently seated many of the greats, perhaps the most iconic being the once local Pamela Lyndon Travers, who was best known as the author of Mary Poppins.

QPSR, has opened its doors to this unique and enriching student program to inspire jobseekers and aid in unemployment numbers within the area. As students climb aboard the carriages of the past, they find themselves on a journey that transcends time, offering their labor to the restoration of these machines in exchange for real world experience, confidence, direction and new skills. A beneficial exchange for QPSR, whom are in dire need of volunteers to keep this important part of Queensland’s history running.

We sat down with one of the students, Ryan, who is currently undertaking this program. He explained that as a school leaver, he struggled as he was lost for direction. He has thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on aspect of this program and is now thriving finding camaraderie with his cohort peers. View our full chat below.

If you are interested in making your next career move or wanting more information about our community programs, call us today on 1300 790 822.

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