STRUMMING WELCOME: The Graniteers ukulele troupe will be on the platform to welcome the train in.
STRUMMING WELCOME: The Graniteers ukulele troupe will be on the platform to welcome the train in. Contributed

Tootling along as historic train season starts

THE everyday trains might have stopped running to Stanthorpe but the next one to arrive, courtesy of the Southern Downs Steam Railway, will get a big welcome when it pulls into the station on Saturday.

Artworks Granite Belt who have taken over running the station as a community space have organised an Open Day, which is timed to the arrival of the train making its first run for the winter season.

The RSL Pipe Band will be in place at 10.15am to pipe the train in followed by a performance from the Graniteers, Stanthorpe's most popular ukulele ensemble. In keeping with the historic nature of both the train and the station, Artwork's members will wear period costume and there will be a display of vintage cars.

The carnival atmosphere will continue with a sausage sizzle and stalls offering cakes, books and plants.

The station is now set up as an art gallery, displaying a range of works of artists from the surrounding area and a cafe, which is run by volunteers and offers a range of light meals, tasty cakes and Italian-style coffee. Diners can also buy books for a dollar or two from the attached bookshop and sit on the sunny verandah, admiring views over the town. As befitting it's role as a community space, the friendly workers undertake to make everybody feel welcome. The opening of the gallery and cafe was timed to coincide with Easter and the resulting influx of visitors to the area.

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