We had a vision to turn the Nurinda Underpass into a remote art display in the middle of almost nowhere that people could stumble across almost by accident.
The Nurinda Underpass is located where Nurinda Rd crosses the BVRT about 2 km from the D’Aguilar Highway heading west in the Harlin to Moore section of the BVRT.
It’s taken three years, but we’ve finally achieved our goal. Searching for the right artists with the skills to do the work in a remote location. Seeking permission from DTMR. Fund raising. Grant application. Working with the artists to transition from mock-up to the final result. Arranging for cracks in the bridge superstructure to be repaired to prevent water seepage damaging the murals, it’s been quite a journey.
At times it seemed like we might never get there, but we received great support from the BVRT community who were most generous with their encouragement and donations.
There’s still a bit of work to be done with interpretive signage and we’ll organise an ‘official’ opening event, but last Sunday the final brush strokes were applied to the two outstanding murals paying homage to the origins of the BVRT as an important railway line transporting timber, food and people to and from the growing cities of Brisbane and Ipswich and beyond.
The steam locomotive depicted in the mural on the northern side of the underpass is a Queensland AC16 class locomotive known locally as ‘The Yank’. It worked on the Brisbane Valley Line after the end of the Second World War and has an interesting history.
The proximity of Japanese forces in the Pacific islands to the north of Australia during WW2 placed Queensland under threat of imminent attack. Queensland urgently needed more trains to move wartime supplies and troops.
In 1941, twenty AC16 class locomotives were procured from the United States under Lend-Lease arrangements and later purchased by the Australian Government.
After the end of the war, some of them ended up working on local branch lines, including the Brisbane Valley Line, and there is still an AC16 class locomotive currently on display in the Ipswich Workshops Railway Museum where it has been lovingly restored.
The Budd Rail Diesel Car depicted on the southern wall is a self-propelled diesel railcar designed by the Budd Company of Philadelphia. In 1956 two 1900 class railmotor prototypes were constructed by Commonwealth Engineering, Granville under licence using Budd construction techniques. The cars were primarily intended for passenger service in rural areas with low traffic density or in short-haul commuter service.
Budd Rail Diesel Cars 1900 and 1901 were both in service on the Brisbane Valley Line and often used for special railway excursions.RM1901 is retained by Queensland Rail as part of its Heritage Fleet. It is used for heritage tours and occasionally used for track inspections. When not required for use it is stored at the Workshops Rail Museum, North Ipswich.
It’s taken a lot of work to bring this project to fruition, but it’s been a great experience. We believe the BVRT is the perfect setting for a series of public art installations. We have plans for future projects including some great sculptures.
We would like to thank everyone who contributed their time and money to help us achieve this great project.
First and foremost, the artists, Jordan Bruce and Steve Falco from The Brightsiders who went above and beyond to help make this project happen.
We would like to thank our most generous sponsors, Darren Zanow from Zanows Concrete and Quarries and Joe Abeya from Esk Grand Hotel.We would especially like to thank the many people who donated generously to our GoFundMe campaign.
We would also like to thank the Somerset Council RADF committee for the generous grant of $6000 that helped us to achieve our final goal.
I would like to personally thank our committee members who put in the hard yards helping to organise events to raise money so we could contribute around $4000 to the final cost of $15,000.And we would like to thank the Queensland Government for their most generous support.
We hope visitors to the BVRT will enjoy these two great pieces of public art for many years to come.
This project was supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
Paul Heymans on behalf of
the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Association