Medical emergency, but too far from the nearest doctor or hospital? Never fear! Help is at hand from the Blackall Ambulance Train!!
Or possibly could have been if your emergency had been a) last century; b) in Queensland’s central west and c) within cooee of the train line to or from the town of Blackall in the Queensland Outback. Sadly, the ambulance train is no longer operational, but you can still see it as it’s now housed at the Blackall railway museum.
This unique part of Blackall’s history – a railcar equipped with medical supplies – provided medical aid and assistance to isolated locals in the region when help would not otherwise have been available.
While clearly limited to areas accessible by rail (!), the train was often used to attend emergencies when the area was flooded and roads were blocked. How? The railway track embankment was often above the high water mark! In an emergency, the victim was able to be taken to an area accessible by the train, or train staff could have been transported to where the victim was.
Given the lack of other medical facilities in the region, the ambulance train provided a valuable service to outlying properties when they couldn’t get help in disasters or emergencies.
Despite its retirement, the ambulance train is therefore another fine example of Outback innovation and ingenuity in action!
And you don’t even have to be a train buff to appreciate it!!
PS And the other photo? Other than showing the view from the Ambulance Train, it serves no real purpose other than my deep satisfaction in taking a photo like this with my trusty 20-year-old non-digital point-and-click FILM camera!! Oh … and also that I really like it!! See you next time!!