|nnn||The Ipswich Railway Workshops museum
is a true wonder. The museum is built around the old and mostly closed Workshops,
once one of the industrial hubs of the Ipswich area. At considerable cost,
the museum transformed some of the old workshop buildings into a structure
suitable for the leisure demands of the 21st century, while still maintaining
the integrity of the buildings' origins. Compared to some museums around
the country there may not be a lot of "stuff", but what there is is well
presented and done so that puts it into its context.
The real wonder of the place though is that out the back Queensland Rail maintains a small but functional workshop, which still utilises equipment from the 19th century. This is no recreation, or show for the public though - these workshops are responsible for keeping QR's heritage fleet of locomotives and rolling stock in good order. It is here you can usually see at least some of the old locos having work done to them, and if you are lucky you may even see one in steam, as the workshops also act as the home base for the locos between their numerous runs on the main line. As if all that is not enough, the workshops also bid for (and win) commercial work which helps defray the costs of the heritage activity.
One last thing - it's a large site that does not always attract crowds, so it is more than possible to have the place shared with just a few others. For photographers this provides a near-studio involvement where shots can be set up without having to rush.
It's a wonderful place!