an outside view of the powerhouse building at Workshops Railway museum

Power House

Permanent exhibition

Recommended for all ages

Queensland Museum Rail Workshops


When the Power House was built in 1901-02, the Ipswich Railway Workshops was one of the first industrial complexes in Queensland to use electricity on a large scale.

In the earliest days of the Workshops, machinery was driven by steam power. The site expanded rapidly in the late 19th century and electricity was seen as the key to its modernisation. Ipswich had no electricity supply, so Queensland Railways built its own powerhouse.

The dramatic building housing the boilers and generators is a testament to the importance of power for the Workshops.

Things to see and do:

  • Walk up the hill to see the Power House up close. Notice the intricate brickwork, elaborate windows and doors, and the architecture reminiscent of a cathedral. Unfortunately visitors are unable to enter the building.
  • See if you can find the date up high on the building that marks the start of construction.
  • Keep an eye out for the brass works whistle on the front of the building, which used to mark start and end of the working day and echo across North Ipswich.
  • Look back down the hill to see a different view of the Boiler Shop which houses the museum exhibits, and to the right to see the Bogie Shop and Machine Erecting Shop.

Are you a teacher?

Our visit as a school information is designed to assist teachers with booking their visit.

Visit as a school

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