Historic Glenapp site celebrates 88 years

BIRTHDAY: The old Glenapp railway hut looks the same as it did in 1930.
BIRTHDAY: The old Glenapp railway hut looks the same as it did in 1930.

THE GLENAPP railway hut is celebrating birthday number 88 and has scrubbed up well for an old girl.

Built in 1930, the hut is the last remaining structure from the decommissioned Glenapp Railway Station and has been meticulously cared for by brothers Rob and Dennis Stibson, affectionately known as The Glenapp Boys.

Rob Stibson said he and his brother had fond memories of growing up in the tiny outpost that contained only five wooden houses when the Stibson family moved there in 1948.

“There were five of us kids in the family and Dad used to pump water from the reservoir for the steam trains,” he said.

“We walked up and down the line as kids.

“I moved away for a bit, living in Sydney and travelling overseas but for the past 16 years Den and I have been coming here every weekend.

“We jump in our utes and drive from the Gold Coast no matter the weather to mow the lawns and keep the property in good shape.

“I have started coming on Thursday night and we both camp out until Sunday.”

Glenapp Railway Station was on the Sydney to Brisbane line and the hut is situated on land still owned  by Queensland Rail just a few kilometres south of Rathdowney.

Mr Stibson said these days the hut was only visible to passing train drivers, who appreciated the effort made by the brothers to keep the historical structure going.

‘We put the happy birthday sign up every year for the train drivers to see,” he said.

“Sometimes the drivers come and camp here and they have even brought their wives for a barbecue breakfast.”

The old Railway Station hut can only be seen by train drivers these days.

The old Railway Station hut can only be seen by train drivers these days.

He said members of the public were welcome to visit and learn about the history of Glenapp Railway Station.

“If people ring up and want to come out I just love showing them around,” Mr Stibson said.

“We don’t own the property but we are accredited to be there, we respect the rules.

“I’m 72-years-old and Dennis is 18 months younger, so Queensland Rail knows we are mature enough to do the right thing.

“No-one asked us to do this, we do it because we love the place and I will never give up on it.

“I will keep coming back until the day I die.” 

Mr Stibson said the brothers had planted jacaranda trees on the spot where the five houses once stood.

“We scattered some of mum and dad’s ashes up there too,” he said.

“They will flower soon and the day we can sit back in the mid-afternoon looking at all those purple flowers will be our pay day, I reckon.”

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