Sight and Sounds: Ipswich Rail Museum

I know I promised to write about our adventures in Brisbane so here we go…

Ipswich Rail Museum

If you have a child that is mad about train, you can’t miss this one… Unfortunately for us, by the time we visited, Aristotle was over his Thomas the Tank Engine craze. Even if your child isn’t nuts about trains, he will still love it. Here’s what you can do at the Rail Museum:

1. Heritage Railway Workshop Tours

This is a tour of the operational railway workshops, heritage rollingstock, and museum collections. We got to see up close and personal the engines that Thomas and his friends were modelled after. Had Aristotle still been as enamoured of trains as he was when he was younger, I’m sure he would have enjoyed this tour thoroughly. As it was, he couldn’t wait for it to be over…

Please note that if you want to see this area, you must have covered footwear.

Rail Museum - gordon

2. Check out the model railway

Now this was really cool. It kept Aristotle’s attention was quite a while. This model covered roughly the area of the Christmas Train display at PJ Hilton a few years back, but the trains in this model were smaller. Check out the detail in the photos below – they even have little people in it!

Rail Museum - model train

3. Operate the Diesel Simulator

This was probably one of the coolest parts of the museum. You have to follow the instructions to operate the train and if you do everything right, the train will start to move. Unfortunately, there is only one diesel simulator so if there are many people, you have to wait quite a bit to get a turn.

Rail Museum - Simulator

4. Operate the Tilt Train Simulator

We didn’t get around to this one because the boys were too caught up in Nippers Railway.

Rail Museum - tilt train

5. Play on the Nippers Railway

This is like a mini railway line for kids to pretend they are working at a railway station. It has a complete railway track with railway station and railway crossing. There is also a train table for the younger kids to play with a Thomas train set.

Rail Museum - Nippers Railway

There are also some educational exhibits to check out…

Ipswich Rail Museum - Science Stations

And other stuff to see…

Ipswich Rail Museum

Download the Visitor Map if you want to see what else there is to see. Don’t forget to check out the Rail Museum website for downloadable resources.


  • Adult – A$20
  • Child – A$11.50 (3-11 years)
  • Family – A$59 (2 adults + 4 children)


  • Mon-Sun – 9:30am to 5pm
  • Close Christmas Day, Anzac Day, Good Friday


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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