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Q150 Steam Train

The Q!50 Steam Train is travelling The Inlander route from Townsville to Mount IsaThe Q150 Steam Train will take a number of Queensland writers across regional Queensland, to celebrate the diversity of Queensland stories and link our rich literary history with the contemporary creative landscape of Queensland.

We aim to:

  • Tell our stories by connecting Queensland communities through writing
  • Engage regional communities through schools, public libraries and community centres
  • Promote writing and literature and the diversity of voices to Queensland audiences
  • Celebrate place in Queensland culture, environment and communities


Part of the Q150 Steam Train journey pays homage to a Writers Train which travelled throughout Queensland in 1990 with authors such as Thea Astley, Ross Clark, Silvana Gardner, Rodney Hall, Victor Kelleher, Thomas Keneally, Kominos, Hugh Lunn, Adele Moy, Estelle Pinney, Peter Pinney, Bill Rosser, Rosie Scott, Tim Winton, Bruce Dawe, Janette Turner Hospital and the emerging writer of the time, Nick Earls. Each of these writers provided something for the Queensland psyche that other writers hadn’t actively solidified before – they espoused a sense of place that was distinctly Queensland.

Nick returns to the Q150 Steam Train in 2009 and retraces some of his old journey with writers Kim Wilkins, Matthew Condon, the Arts Queensland Poet-in-Residence, Hinemoana Baker, award-winning children's book author, Gregory Rogers and emerging author Belinda Jeffrey

This year's Q150 Steam Train connects to a significant cultural event in Queensland’s history – the 1990 Writers Train – and invites participants to engage in conversation with prominent contemporary writers. These authors’ reflections of Queensland in their writing, and their ability to engage communities to conceive and share their own reflections, is the principle way this project celebrates Q150.


The Q150 Steam Train authors will be delivering events such as talks, workshops and readings to schools in each of the regional communities visited by the train.

A major component of this project is school programming, as part of the Q150 Steam Train The Journey of The Book banner. In particular, Gregory Rogers will be conducting a hands-on session for upper-primary-school students on characterisation where he will be drawing and discussing how he develops his characters from the ground up. Greg will be gifting these illustrations to each of the towns he visits.

Greg’s workshop will be followed by a panel/seminar with all three authors discussing The Journey of The Book. The writers will also be encouraging individual students and classes to participate in Tracks.  

Tracks is an online journal, where the authors will post text, audio and visual entries enroute for school students and members of the community at large to observe, participate and mash up. Even if you don't live in the communities visited by the trains, you can be a part of this significant event and read, create, write and publish online. Visit to get involved


The Q150 Steam Train will travel through the regions of Queensland Rail's Inlander (Townsville to Mount Isa) and Westerner (Brisbane to Charleville) routes, delivering events, readings and workshops to each community.     

The itinerary thus far includes:

The Inlander (1 June – 7 June Townsville – Mount Isa)
With authors Matthew Condon, Gregory Rogers and Belinda Jeffrey

1 June     Brisbane to Townsville
2 June     Townsville to Charters Towers
3 June     Charters Towers to Hughenden
4 June     Hughenden to Cloncurry
5 June     Cloncurry to Mt Isa
6 June     Queensland Day celebrations in Mount Isa

The Westerner (17 August – 21 August Brisbane – Charleville)
With authors Nick Earls and Kim Wilkins and the Arts Queensland Poet-in Residence, Hinemoana Baker.

17 August   Brisbane to Toowoomba
18 August   Toowoomba to Chinchilla
19 August   Chinchilla to Roma
20 August   Roma toCharleville

Get involved

Click here to view a full listing of free events in Townsville, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Hughenden and Mount Isa.

Or if you can't physically be at the locations listed, you could become involved via Tracks, an online journal where the authors will post text, audio and visual entries from their journey - for participants to read, watch, comment, remix and mash up! Visit ABC Radio National’s social networking website to get involved.

Keep in touch by subscribing to the QWC e-bulletin mailing list — you will find an option to join on the left-hand side of the screen. You can also chose to join the Q150 mailing list for overall information on Q150 celebrations.

Train Travel

If you want to travel on the actual Steam Train itself, Queensland Rail is the ticketing agency. To book, please visit this site. Please note that there are a number of journeys heading out throughout the year as part of the broader Q150 celebrations. The writers mentioned above will be travelling on the Q150 Steam Train for two of these journeys:  Sector 4 (Townsville - Mount Isa) and Sector 6 (Brisbane - Charleville).

This initiative is produced by Queensland Writers Centre with the support of Q150 and Copyright Agency Limited, and is presented in partnership with Booklinks and Childrens Book Council of Australia (Qld).
Q150 Writers Train is produced by Queensland Writers with the support of Q150 and Copyright Agency Limited

                                      Children's Book Council of Australia (Qld)CAL Cultural Fund