The historical tradition of "flagging the train" at Dagun Station in
the Mary Valley, SEQ, will have its last showing on November 21 when
volunteers man the crossing for the final time.
After receiving a "cease and desist" order from police who have earmarked the practice of using flags to halt traffic to allow a steam train over the crossing unsafe, Dagun Community Group has decided to pack the flags and fluoro vests away.
But far from taking a negative approach to the event, organisers want to celebrate the fact that Dagun has remained the only station in Queensland -- and perhaps Australia -- where the practice has continued long after electric rail became the norm.
In conjunction with their local iron horse, the Valley Rattler, Dagun volunteers are making a day of it.
Dagun Community Group president Len Summers said any train buff, and indeed anyone who recognises that we are losing a lot of our links with the past, will enjoy the chance to farewell the flags.
"We believe it's probably the last time it will happen in Australia, so we are making a family day of it," Mr Summers said. "Steam trains were flagged at crossings when they first started running in Australia in 1854 and in Queensland in 1875, so we are talking of over 150 years of history here."
Plans are afoot to bring in the Gympie Vintage Car Club, the Bushrangers from Imbil, the Dagun school kids and hark back to a time of good old-fashioned transport. The Mary Valley Lions Club will provide a barbecue and attendees will be encouraged to wear period costume.
Mr Summers said the police concerns included the risk that local drivers would expect flagging to be in place at other locations, while the Rattler risk assessment identified risk to the flag persons themselves. The Gympie Regional Council has recently adopted a 40 KPH speed zone for the crossing, while a 50 KPH speed zone will apply at the nearby Amamoor-Kandanga crossing.
The final flagging celebration is being held on November 21 to coincide with the monthly historic re-enactment at Imbil, further down the line. Celebrations will kick-off at 1pm.
The re-enactment, held on the third Sunday each month, brings big crowds to the train, and Mr Summers wants to give them value for money with the flagging celebration.
Flagging the train becomes a celebration for Dagun
Dagun Station, Dagun
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