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More than 300 veterans joined a commemorative "troop train" from Brisbane CBD to Cleveland in honour of more than 62,000 Australians who lost their lives in World War I.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said he was honoured to join service personnel, including soldiers from the Gallipoli Barracks and the Light Horse Brigade, plus members of Redlands RSL and staff from Queensland Rail, for the ride on board the specially chartered train, and listen to their stories.
Service personnel on board Sunday's Remembrance Day troop train.CREDIT:TWITTER/QUEENSLAND RAIL
“During the Great War, troop trains played an integral role in transporting troops travelling to or returning from conflict, as well as horses and equipment and those who were sick or wounded," Mr Bailey said.
“The regional areas of Toowoomba and Warwick became major centres for train movements during World War I, carrying up to 400 soldiers at a time to Central station, where they were then transported by motor cars to the military hospital at Kangaroo Point," Mr Bailey said.
“Troop trains also travelled to regional areas including Wallumbilla, Warwick and Barcaldine to assist with recruitment activities, encouraging locals to sign up and serve their country.”
By June 1917, Queensland Railways (now Queensland Rail) recorded that 2473 of its own employees had enlisted, of whom 91 were tragically killed and another 105 injured.
By the war’s end, 25 per cent of the train fleet was in need of repair. However, work had to be postponed because of shortages of materials and workers to do the work.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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