Historian and Photographer Visits the Far North

Our favourite historian and photographer, Brian Webber, visited the Far North during July of this year. Brian is the author of a number of historical railway books that are published by the Australian Railway Historical Society (Queensland Division).  In July, Brian joined an ARHS group who chartered the train, but modified his trip so as to be able to spend more time photographing the train and the Savannah landscape.

The ARHS charter group were in the north to Celebrate the 125 year anniversary of the Gulflander, but specially chartered a Savannahlander service so that both trains could be included in the one trip. The first part of the trip was a Sunday departure from Cairns, running straight through to Mt Surprise. The group left us here, to make their way over to Normanton, however Brian remained behind to await the next charter unit departure, as well as enjoy the many and varied attractions that Mt Surprise has to offer.

On the following Wednesday, the charter crew returned to Mt Surprise, to take the empty unit over to Forsayth, where the ARHS would rejoin us on the following day. Waiting patiently at the station was Brian, who was signed on as official photographer for the ‘repositioning’ movement to Forsayth. Being an empty service, there was plenty of opportunity to get some photos with a difference, some examples of which are in the gallery.

On Thursday, we picked up the Charter group, and headed over to Mt Surprise, with Brian embarked. At Einasleigh, we crossed the scheduled service that had began its day over at Almaden. Brian left the charter group here, and joined the regular train and returned to Forsayth, spending his remaining time with the scheduled Savannahlander service.

Brian was kind enough to supply us with a USB stick containing over 400 photos. Probably not doing any justice to his work, 35 have been selected to be displayed with this blog post. Some of the colours and scenes that were captured are truly remarkable, and it’s always rewarding to be able to assist people like Brian  record the images from our unique service.

Oh, and for those interested, we can provide copies of a couple of his books that we stock for merchandise purposes. The above mentioned Rails of the Far North book is a great resource for understanding how large the far north rail network once was. We also stock his latest book “Railmotors, Railcars, EMU’s and Tilts Trains of Queensland” – which features the Savannahlander and its sister rolling stock. Contact Us if you would like to purchase any of these books.