Thursday, May 27, 2021

The Ferny Grove Heritage Railway

With Queensland Rail's new NGR trains seemingly banned from the Ferny Grove Line, and 40 year old EMU trains being regulars, here is a satirical brochure for the Ferny Grove Heritage Railway...

Take a nostalgic trip on one of the Southern Hemisphere's most historic, and not particularly long railway journeys, the Ferny Grove Heritage Railway. Relive your Brisbane childhood by travelling on 40 year old EMU trains*, and bashing your head on those weird handrails hanging from the ceiling. Whilst the old door handles have been replaced by push buttons, we have made sure that at least two consecutive door sets on each side of the train are broken and locked so that you miss your station when trying to alight. 

The Ferny Grove Heritage Railway journey starts at Bowen Hills, and the train quickly climbs up on one of the most impressive viaducts in Bowen Hills. From there you can see people getting eaten to death by sandflies on the bike path alongside Breakfast Creek. The train then continues to climb towards Windsor. No, not the one where the Queen lives, but there is a charming wooden footbridge, and the smallest house in Brisbane. Passing through Wilston, you can sometimes be entertained by people running for the train through the subway. The train only gets held if the are female and pretty. 

Hear the DC motor struggling as the EMU train ascends the lofty foothills of Newmarket, crossing the first of many ancient level crossings on this line, passing an old brickworks chimney, Newmarket Olympic Pool, and onto Alderley. You can change here, if for some bizarre reason you want to take a bus to Aspley Hyperdome. Next stop is Enoggera, where you can view a rarely used dystopian bus interchange. Buses are so infrequent, you may occasionally see a dinosaur being removed from a bus stop. Crossing Sandy Creek, and onto the curves of Gaythorne (previously known as Rifle Range). This station is so curvy, that the NGR trains are banished. 

Next stop is Mitchelton and Oxford Park, not much to see there since the Swiss restaurant closed down. The train then continues to climb to the highest altitude on Queensland Rail's network at Grovely. If you are expecting oxygen masks to drop from the ceiling, you might be disappointed, but you can bring your own. After passing through Keppera, quickly, the train descends in altitude, where you can watch retirees hitting balls with sticks on Keppera International Golf Links.  The train crosses not one, but two level crossings, plus a tributary of the mighty Kedron Brook on its final approach to the modern Ferny Grove station. 

At Ferny Grove, you can either walk across the platform and get the next train out (remembering to touch on and off), or eat a packet of chips from the vending machine whilst marvelling at car park utopia.

The Ferny Grove Heritage Railway is a fun ride for all the family day, and night. Queensland Rail even offer a Ghost Train tour, the 6:40am from Ferny Grove to Park Road, as this train rarely makes it to its intended destination.

* note: Heritage EMU trains may very rarely be swapped for a train at least 10 years old at short notice, but don't worry you won't end up on one of those mouldy new NGRs.

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