Toowoomba Railway Station Air Raid Shelters

Public and Railway Employee Shelters

Civil defence facility
Darling Downs

Toowoomba Railway Station, Railway Street, Toowoomba 4350

The Toowoomba railway station’s public air raid shelter, constructed of brick and concrete, is located on the west side of the car park outside the railway station building. There is also a smaller concrete shelter located on the northern platform near the honour board, which was designed for the use of railway employees.


In the Protection of Persons and Property Order No.1, gazetted 23 December 1941, Queensland’s Premier William Forgan Smith, with powers conferred by Regulation 35a, ordered the Brisbane City Council to construct 200 public surface shelters in the city area (235 were built). Another 24 local governments in Queensland’s coastal areas were ordered to produce surface or trench shelters for the public (135 non-trench shelters were built). A large number of businesses also built air raid shelters, as the owners of any building in the coastal areas where over 30 people would normally be present at any one time were required to build shelters either within the building, or adjacent to it.

On 2 March 1942 a memorandum from the Undersecretary of the Department of Public Works reported that Queensland Railways had already built shelters for its employees at some of the larger train stations, and it recommended that a further 28 full size public surface shelters, three half size shelters, and three sets of trenches, be built outside Brisbane.

In Australia the process of building public air raid shelters at railway stations during World War II seems to have been unique to Queensland. In addition to Toowoomba, railway station air raid shelters survive at Shorncliffe in Brisbane; as well as in Landsborough and Maryborough.


Toowoomba Railway Station, Honour Board and Railway Yard Structures, Queensland Heritage Register 600872

Maryborough Railway Station Complex and Air Raid Shelter, Queensland Heritage Register 600702

Public Air Raid Shelter, Landsborough Railway Station. Queensland Heritage Register 602709.