Tim Fischer's final train has left the station.
The boy from Boree Creek was farewelled at a state funeral in Albury on Thursday, with heartfelt tributes from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, colleagues, friends and family.
A keen train enthusiast, Mr Fischer took his last rail journey from near his hometown in the NSW Riverina to a heartwarming commemoration of his life.
He died aged 73 from acute leukaemia last week, surrounded by his wife Judy Brewer and their two sons Dominic and Harrison.
At a packed Albury Entertainment Centre, Mr Fischer's coffin was centre stage, adorned with his trademark Akubra hat, military medals and an Australian flag.
Honour, decency, integrity and passionate advocacy shone through in anecdotes laced with his eccentricities and kind heart.
His devotion to family was another enduring theme.
Mr Morrison remembered the former Nationals leader as a true friend and patriot who served his country faithfully.
"The son of a grateful nation, Tim Fischer was one of a kind," he said.
"And the boy from Boree Creek has left us too soon."
John Anderson, who served as deputy Nationals leader to Mr Fischer before taking over in 1999, revealed he undertook trials for the condition he was suffering despite knowing they wouldn't save him.
But armed with the knowledge it could one day help someone else, Mr Fischer endured the painful treatment.
"It's the mark of the man," Mr Anderson said.
Ross Jackson was 14 when he met Mr Fischer, with their shared love of trains forming the basis of their friendship.
Mr Jackson now works at Rail Services Australia and recounted Mr Fischer acting as his referee when he applied to work as a signalman.
"I was hoping that Tim did it for me, but now I realise he actually did it for himself. Now he had someone to call," Mr Jackson said to laughter.
The train carrying his coffin made a one-hour journey from The Rock, a tiny town near Boree Creek, to Albury.
A plaque carrying the words "Vale Tim Fischer: 1946 - 2019" was fixed to the front carriage.
In Canberra, the flags around Parliament House were lowered to half-mast.
Gordon Alexander was conscripted with Mr Fischer to fight for the Australian Army in the Vietnam War, and the pair ended their service on the same day.
"Tim moved into political life, and as someone commented, rose to become the second lieutenant, telling the generals what to do," he said.
Former Labor minister Barry Jones listed a wide range of shared interests which united the men from opposing political camps.
It wasn't their only similarity.
"We knew we were both regarded by our colleagues as idiosyncratic - a code name for weird," Dr Jones said.
Friends Bill Baxter and Sandy Venn-Brown gave the main eulogy, speaking of his love for the land, politics, trains, Australia but most of all his wife and two sons.
After Father Tony Percy gave the final blessing, Mr Fischer's brother Tony made a final word of thanks mentioning the staff who cared for him in his final days, the funeral organisers and the prime minister.
Of course, he didn't leave out his late sibling.
"Thank you, Tim, for enriching all our lives."
Australian Associated Press