Unofficial history of SDSR website

The site is a private unofficial web site celebrating the first 20 years of Southern Downs Steam Railway (SDSR).

For the latest information and train bookings please go SDSR's official website at

From the beginning SDSR aimed to provide a unique heritage railway experience on the Darling Downs and Granite belt through the operation of a tourist railway.

The Southern Downs Steam Railway is based at the site of Warwick's former Locomotive Depot. It had a seven road part Roundhouse, supplying locomotive power to the Southern Line, South-Western Line, Maryvale, Killarney, Allora/Goomburra, Amiens and Texas branches, before closing in 1969.

Now called the Warwick Railway Precinct, it is the home of operations of our C17 locomotive and carriage fleet. The Peter Brixey museum, located on site, houses our museum pieces, historical documents and artifacts. It resides in what was the station building at Cottonvale.

The Allora/Goomburra Branchis a line that SDSR would like to utilise in the future. Located about 25 km's north of Warwick, this 6 km branch line runs from Hendon to Allora. A former extension to this branch line used to run from Allora up to the Goomburra Valley. Rail traffic continued on this line up until 1995, when the line was moth-balled by Queensland Rail. The one bridge on the line was damaged in the 2010/2011 Qld Flood events.

SDSR's ultimate aims

  • Restoration,maintenance, and operation of C17 971, part of Warwick's history and a regular on the Dirranbandi Mail train. Mainline operational since December 2008.
  • Restoration and use of the part Roundhouse. Four of the seven roads are restored. This is essential to allow servicing to our fleet of rolling stock.
  • Restoration, maintenance and operation of our rollingstock. SDSR currently has several wooden carriages, one of which is an original Sydney Mail Carriage and another the only surviving carriage from the Camp Mountain Disaster. Current operational fleet of 6 carriages.
  • Preservation of our rail heritage through the sourcing of historical items.
  • Operation of a Tourist Heritage Railway to Allora / Clifton. Achieved January 2009.
  • Operation of a Tourist Heritage Railway to Stanthorpe and Wallagarra. Achieved April 2009.

Have a preview look of Scott McGregors Adventures experience of SDSR tours.

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