Cross River Rail rediscovers Gabba’s forgotten rail history

Cross River Rail has rediscovered the forgotten rail history of its Woolloongabba mega site, drawing on the knowledge and memories of those involved in a rail yard that closed down at the same location more than half a century ago.

Cross River Rail CEO Graeme Newton said while artefacts uncovered at the work site during construction helped paint a picture of the largely forgotten about rail yard, it was the stories of those who were there that were helping to bring it back to life.

“While Cross River Rail will transform the way we travel to, from and through Brisbane in the future, we’re also helping to uncover the past,” Mr Newton said.

“It’s extraordinary to think that the new Woolloongabba station will be located on the same site as a rail depot that closed more than 50 years ago.

“Not only will the new station service The Gabba and the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, but it will also signal a new chapter in Woolloongabba’s rich transport history, which has seen horse-drawn trams, trolleybuses and rail all operate out of the suburb.”

Former engine cleaner Arthur Hayes, who worked at the former Wooloongabba rail depot (spelled incorrectly with one ‘l’ by Queensland Railways) more than 50 years ago and nearby resident Peter Dusha recently visited the Cross River Rail site to reminisce and swap stories.

You can watch Channel 7’s coverage of Arthur and Peter’s visit here.