Troop train to run on the Cleveland line as part of Armistice Day celebrations

A TROOP train will run from Roma Street, Brisbane, to Cleveland on November 11 as part of celebrations to mark 100 years since the end of WWI.

TROOP TRAIN: A troop train running on the Cleveland line will help celebrate those who served like these WWI diggers. Photo: Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

TROOP TRAIN: A troop train running on the Cleveland line will help celebrate those who served like these WWI diggers. Photo: Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

The Redlands RSL Sub Branch plans to make it a memorable and historically significant occasion when the train carrying a company of troops and ex-servicemen and women makes its way to Cleveland.

The special train – with artwork displayed on the first three carriages – will make limited stops and provide a chance for people to hop on board.

The train is a Redlands RSL Sub Branch idea and has won the backing of Redland City Council and the Queensland government.

The troop train and annual Poppy Appeal will be launched on October 11 at Roma Street Station.

On November 11, troops will march up Shore Street East, to take part in the Remembrance Day service at Anzac Centenary Park.

Organiser and Redlands RSL Sub Branch secretary Michael McDonnell said the project took a big effort to win approval.

“There’s been many letters written, we’ve visited local MPs and discussed so many ideas along the journey,” he said. “It always seemed to end with the same result.

“We were told ‘yes’ it was a good idea, but that’s where it all seemed to end. We could never win the commitment we needed.”

A meeting in June set the ball rolling.

The troop train will travel the network for the four weeks leading up to November 11. “This is really something out of the box,” Mr McDonnell said.

It links with other Redlands RSL projects like the Centenary of Armistice Dinner, which will be held at the club on Monday, November 5 at 5.30pm.

The function includes a dinner, dance and tribute show featuring the Andrews Sisters. Bookings are essential.

Many troops travelled by train to fight in WWI and WWII, starting in Australian towns and then later when they arrived in Europe.

During WWII as many as 50 trains a day passed through the Queensland-NSW border town of Wallangarra.

In WWI the Allies broke through the Hindenburg Line on the Western Front on September 29, 1918.

The Armistice between the Allies and Germany came into effect at 11am on November 1, ending more than four years of the most unimaginable bloodshed and destruction. 

At home in Australia, large crowds gathered to celebrate.

After WWII, Armistice Day became Remembrance Day, a time to commemorate war dead from all conflicts.