Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies Australia

QLD: Evening Lecture - "Railways in World War One" "One part in a much longer Australsian military railways journey."

  • 14 Nov 2017
  • 18:00 - 20:00
  • RUSI Hall Victoria Barracks Brisbane


  • Members & Guests

Registration is closed

RUSIQ Evening Lecture
Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 1800hrs, RUSI Hall, Victoria Barracks, Brisbane
“Railways in World War One:
One part in a much longer Australasian military railways journey.”

Throughout World War One, railways proved to be a crucial logistical part of the war effort for all combatants. Throughout the United Kingdom, Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere, railways fed the voracious war machine, but no more so than on the Western Front. In Australia railways supported the war effort from recruitment trains through country and regional areas, troop trains transporting soldiers and nurses to their ports of departure for overseas service (and later, their return), as well as hospital trains, supplies, equipment and the movement of horses.

Part of this experience included the formation of Australian railway units to aid in the critical logistical support on the Western Front. But what is less known is the largely unexplored pre-1914 experience of railways in wars during the nineteenth century. Railways in fact feature in all conflicts in which Australia has been involved.

This presentation explores these and other military rail themes, including the postwar
service of former Western Front narrow gauge veteran Hunslet trains in places such as


Rob Shiels:  Rob is the Collection Manager at The Workshops Rail Museum (TWRM), located in North Ipswich, which is part of the Queensland Museum Network. Since 2012, Rob has also been the Project Manager of the WW1 Western Front veteran narrow-gauge Hunslet train restoration project at TWRM.

Jeff Hopkins-Weise:    Jeff is an historian and curator, specialising in Queensland, Australian, New Zealand and Pacific history. Areas of interest include the role and experience of the British Army in colonial Australia and New Zealand; the trans-Tasman dimensions of Australian involvement in the New Zealand (or Maori) wars of the 1840s and 1860s; and Australasian humanitarianism and memorialisation in association with conflict, the British Army and Royal Navy. Jeff has published a number of articles in learned journals. He co-authored a book with Greg Czechura for the Queensland Museum (2008, 2010 & 2016), A7V Mephisto:

The Last German First World War Tank. Jeff and Greg are currently working on a new book for the Queensland Museum about Mephisto.

To register to attend this lecture, please phone Mr Bob Hume 0409 49 82 11, or email to, by close of business, Monday, 13 November 2017.

Access to Victoria Barracks requires that all attendees be registered for the lecture and to have their names checked off a list at the entrance to RUSI Hall. Names will also be registered with Base Security
The cost is $10.00 for RUSI Members; and $15.00 for non-members (which includes supper)
Please note: Change of Date; Altered RSVP arrangements.

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