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Grandchester railway station

27°40′S 152°28′E / 27.667°S 152.467°E / -27.667; 152.467Coordinates: 27°40′S 152°28′E / 27.667°S 152.467°E / -27.667; 152.467

Population 504 (2011 Census)[1]
Postcode(s) 4340
LGA(s) City of Ipswich
State electorate(s) Electoral district of Ipswich West
Electoral district of Lockyer
Federal Division(s) Blair
Localities around Grandchester:
Hatton Vale Summerholm Woolshed
Laidley Grandchester The Bluff
Laidley South Laidley South Ashwell

Grandchester is a town in the Lockyer Valley region in South East Queensland, Australia. It is located 76 km west of the Brisbane CBD and is situated on the border of the Ipswich and Laidley local government areas. The name derives from the old english name for bigge (Grand) and camp (Chester), which was the initial name of the locality, and suggested by the wife of the Governor of the day when the railway opened.[2] At the 2006 census, Grandchester had a population of 504.[1]


Grandchester was the initial terminus of the first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world. The first track opened to traffic on 31 July 1865 from Ipswich, as the Queensland Government was keen to prove the viability of its controversial 'pony railway'. The construction of the Victoria Tunnel through the Little Liverpool Range to the west of Grandchester was behind schedule, and so although it served a very small population, Bigges Camp (as it was initially known) became the terminus for 10 months, until the line was extended to Gatton.[3] The original railway station still exists.

Grandchester is the home of one of the last known surviving steam-powered flat-belt sawmills in Australia. The engine powering it was manufactured in 1908, and the mill has been in operation from 1945. It was destroyed by a fire, sometime in the early hours of 6 May 2007.[4]

Work on the long process of restoring the mill to its former glory started almost immediately in the days following the fire. The mill is operating once again with work still continuing on the restoration. This will ensure that this important piece of history is preserved for the generations that follow.[5]

Heritage listings

Grandchester has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

  • Franklin Vale Road: Franklyn Vale Homestead[6]
  • Ipswich Road: Grandchester Railway Complex[7]
  • Symes Street: Grandchester Sawmills[8]

See also


External links

  • University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Grandchester
  • Ipswich City Council

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