By G. Cash
The Marburg Branch Railway branches from the main line to Toowoomba near Rosewood, which is about 20 kilometres west of Ipswich in Queensland, Australia. Previously known as Rosewood Gate, a railway gatekeeper was appointed to Rosewood in 1866. A waiting room and stationmaster’s house were built in 1875 and a station office built in 1880 was replaced with the current building in 1918. Agricultural land to the north of Rosewood was not directly serviced by the Brisbane Valley line and, in December 1909, parliament approved the construction of a branch line to run about 15 kilometres to Marburg. The Marburg locality was originally known as First Plain, then as Frederick after the name of an early settler, and lastly as Marburg after a Prussian town of the same name. During World War 1 the town was known as Townshend but Marburg was reinstated in 1920. The line opened on 18 December 1911 after passing through North Rosewood, Perry’s Knob, Cabanda, Kunkala, Tallegalla and Birru. A daily service to Ipswich departed Marburg each morning and returned in the evening. It was a two-hour journey by rail and over time the faster road trip prevailed. Coal mines in the region kept the line viable until they progressively closed. The branch closed in stages – from Marburg to Birru in 1964, to Kunkala in 1970, Cabanda in 1973 and to Perry’s Knob in 1979. The Australian Railway Historical Society now uses a section of the line to operate steam locomotive rides. It has a display at Kunkala station.