A project of Capricorn Coast Historical Society and Livingstone Shire Council
The Historical Marker's planned location is located at the Yeppoon Railway Station site.
Yeppoon was declared a town reserve in 1867 but the railway was not constructed until 1909. It was opened on 21st January
1910 by Queensland Governor Sir William MacGregor.
The Early Years
Yeppoon was declared a town reserve in 1867 but the railway was not constructed until 1909. It was opened on 21st January 1910 by Queensland Governor Sir William MacGregor. A line to Emu Park had opened in 1888, and from that time the residents and businesses of Yeppoon (particularly the Farnborough sugar mill) had been calling for an extension through to Yeppoon. Tanby on the Emu Park line was the nearest rail point but was difficult to reach. Goods including sugar had to be carted in wagons pulled either by bullocks or horses along unmade roads. Finally, after surveys in 1890 and 1900, work commenced in 1908 on a route through Mt Chalmers and Cawarral goldfields, reaching Yeppoon in December 1909.
In Yeppoon the line was built alongside James Street and required the closure of parts of Arthur and Park Streets. At the time, this was on the outskirts of town in an area with space for handling livestock and other freight. As well as the station, the railway precinct included cattle yards, storage sheds, a goods shed, engine and carriage sheds, Stationmaster’s house and other houses.
Photo to the right:
7. Map showing the route of the Yeppoon and Emu Park railway lines.
Importance to the Community
The passenger trains were an immediate success. The first service into Yeppoon carried 128 people, each paying three shillings and ten pence for the fare. Boxing Day 1910 saw 700 people travel to Yeppoon by train. In 1924 trains carried 3,500 passengers to Yeppoon in one day for the annual railway workers beach picnic, relocated that year from Emu Park. The train became a vital transport link for workers, shoppers and school students travelling to Rockhampton, as well as tourists and holiday makers going to the Coast.
Supplies to shops, hotels and businesses came to Yeppoon by train and return freight included timber, citrus fruit, dairy produce, livestock and fish. From the 1950s however the Yeppoon rail service mainly transported locally grown pineapples to the canneries at Koongal in North Rockhampton and Northgate in Brisbane.
The Later Years
Improved road transport resulted in reduced rail freight and in 2004 Queensland Rail announced the decommissioning of the Yeppoon railway line. By 2007 the line had been torn up, ending almost a century of rail to Yeppoon.
With the sale of the railway land in 2013 and moves to reopen Arthur Street to traffic, the fate of the railway station, heritage listed in 2008, is uncertain. The present Rail Trail was opened in 2014 following community dissatisfaction at the loss of the rail link. It follows the railway corridor and extends from the rail crossing on Yeppoon Road almost to the old railway station. Information panels have been erected at the Braithwaite Street entrance.
1. The earliest known photo of Yeppoon Station with assembled people - possibly the official opening
2. An early view of the Station before the platform was built and the station extended on this weste
3. Engine shed at Yeppoon yards. (Courtesy G Moore)
4. Pineapple bins ready for loading onto rail wagons about 1965 (Courtesy D and C Clayton)
5. Yeppoon station shortly before closure. (Courtesy N Channells)
6. The 1949 cyclone caused this washout on the Yeppoon line about half a mile out of Yeppoon. (Court