Ipswich Railway Workshops

The original Ipswich Railway Workshops started in 1864 in North Ipswich, Queensland it was moved to a new site a kilometre away in 1907. It employed over 3,000 people in its heyday. It remained operational for 144 years and over 200 locomotives were built there. The employees could catch the steam train down from Ipswich to Southport and Tweed Heads to go fishing, that’s possibly why there are so many different styles of side-cast fishing reels were made in Ipswich. These were known as “Foreigners”, which were made by employees for outside or private use. They were usually made on a Friday afternoon when the week’s quota was reached. The leading hands and foremen turned a blind eye to this as they often had reels made for themselves. Employees from all of the sections were involved in making the reels.

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