Alpha was once a thriving railway town that today is a former shadow of the past. The town is one the Emerald to Longreach set on the outback Capricornia highway.
Alpha was initially established as a temporary terminus during construction of the Great Northern Railway. The railway, which was being built westwards from Rockhampton, was opened to Alpha on 22 September 1884. The construction camp continued moving west, but a township remained at the former terminus. Until the late 1990s, Queensland Rail maintained a locomotive depot in the town.
The town remains a service centre for the surrounding pastoral properties and travelers on the highway.
Over recent years the town has set itself apart with a building mural program. Over 30 buildings have murals depicting the past.
There is a railway siding named Beta a little further along the highway.