Steam train arrives at Toowoomba Railway Station.
Steam train arrives at Toowoomba Railway Station. Nev Madsen

FOR many trainspotters, hearing the whistle of a vintage steam engine is the sweetest sound.

They heard it on Saturday, when a restored C17 coal-fired, steam locomotive chugged into the Garden City, just in time for the Carnival of Flowers.

The Southern Downs Steam Railway, based in Warwick, made the return Warwick to Toowoomba trip happen.

Dozens of people lined the platform to wave the locomotive in, including Ben Dunlop and his three children.

Mr Dunlop said his children were hugely excited to take in the spectacle.

"We were just driving past and saw it, and thought we'd come and take a look at the train," he said.

"It's pretty obvious they love trains, they're loving it.

"We went down to Spring Bluff the other day - it was a good day, beautiful weather for it."

The Southern Downs Steam Railway is a not-for-profit group aiming to establish a tourist railway experience on the Darling Downs and Granite Belt.