Build it!

“If it can be made, it can be made at The Workshops”

Paint Shop, Wagon & Carriage Shop, Steam Shop, Trimmer Shop, Tarpaulin Shop, Supply & Wheel Shop, Bogie Shop, Blacksmiths Shop and Boiler Shop – all needed to build and maintain trains!

Since 1865, the Ipswich Railway Workshops has been the workplace for more than 10,000 skilled trades people.

It's BIG LOUD FUN as you walk in the footsteps of past workers to explore the many different trades used onsite. Discover what working in a railway Workshop is really like.

Daily event activities

The BIG Build

Regular performances daily
Join the Works Manager and his new apprentice fitter in the massive task of completing construction of a life-sized A10 locomotive. The apprentice is so new they might require a bit of help from you! The Workshops whistle will signal the start of construction.

Apprentice Training Shops

9:30am to 5:00pm daily
Take part in some hands-on railway trades activities at the North Ipswich Railway Workshops. Give stencilling and painting, wagon building, plumbing, simulated welding and rope tying a go, and see if you have what it takes to earn your very own take-home Trade Certificate.

Construction Challenge Engineering Shop

10:00am to 4:00pm daily
Take part in railway construction challenges by building trains and cranes, bridges and tunnels, railway stations and roundhouses using K’nex, Lego or Straws systems.

Boilershop Dash

9:30am to 5:00pm daily
On your mark, get set – go! Explore the hidden secrets of exhibits in the original Boilershop as you race from Guard’s Van to Governor’s Carriage finding wooden patterns, bogies, boilers and lots of other intriguing items.

The Design Office

9:30am to 5:00pm daily
Create you own cardboard take-home model of a locomotive, carriages and wagons.

Heritage Railway Workshops Tours

Tours depart regularly throughout the day
A Queensland Rail heritage tradesperson will be your guide as you enter the Blacksmith Shop or Steam Shop to smell the smoke, feel the heat, and see sparks fly. Enclosed footwear is required.

Mystery Object

9:30am to 5:00pm daily
Can your guess what the current mystery object might be? Who might have used it? How old is it?

Meet The Workshops Curator

Weekdays only, 11.30am
Join our Curator to find out more about the lives of the workers at the North Ipswich Railway Workshops.

‘Workers at The Workshops’ photographic display

10:00am to 4:00pm daily
See a range of historic images depicting the various trades and products manufactured at the Ipswich Railway Workshops by “tradies” and apprentices of every description.


Special activities

Build it! Steam Train

Wednesday 6 July 2011
Climb aboard the heritage Steam Train as it travels from Roma Street station to
the Museum, the same route many Workshops workers would have taken to get to work. Your ticket includes entry into the Museum, the Build it! event, and bus transfer back to Roma Street station. Charges apply and bookings are essential. Download the Build it! Steam Train Booking Form (759 KB) pdf document icon.


Activity sheets


Schools, Group bookings and Outside Hours School Care visits

Groups and Outside Hours School Care groups are welcomed to the Build it! event with group entry rates and specially prepared Activity Trails. Bookings are essential.

Download the Build it! Group Booking Form (648 KB) pdf document icon.

Schools are invited to participate in the event, with FREE admission during school hours from 20 – 24 June and 12 – 15 July 2011. Bookings are essential.

Download the Build it! Schools Booking Form (618 KB) pdf document icon.


Event Details

18 June 2011 - 17 July 2011
Free with Admission
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