Runcorn, a residential suburb, is 14 km south-east of central Brisbane. It was reportedly named after Runcorn, Cheshire, England, the birth place of a local clergyman (c1880).
Two tributary headwaters of the Bulimba Creek rise in Runcorn, identifiable by parklands north of the Runcorn railway station and on the suburb's eastern boundary.
Runcorn and neighbouring Sunnybank are on the South Coast railway line (1885). The Runcorn post office was opened in 1887 and the primary school in 1901. Now situated in Sunnybank, the Runcorn primary school's catchment was in both districts. Sunnybank had several orchardists but Runcorn's agriculture was more broad acre: just eight farmers and a nursery worker were listed in the post office directory in 1902. Some years later the Australian Fertilizer factory was opened on the site of a former bonemill. By the mid-1930s farming had altered. Most were poultry farmers (23), and another ten were described simply as 'farmers'. There were also two stores, two bakers, a butcher and the Runcorn hall (1926) in Nathan Road.
In the late 1960s urban development began in Runcorn, moving out from the railway station. Runcorn Heights primary school, in the south of the suburb, was opened in 1975 and Runcorn high school in 1986. By the mid-1970s Runcorn's eastern boundary had moved into Kuraby, from Warrigal Road to Bulimba Creek.
There were three decades of urban growth in Runcorn. As its southern extremity the Queensland State Archives was built (1993) and there still remained some unsubdivided land near Bulimba Creek.
Shopping was provided at several drive-in centres in Sunnybank and Sunnybank Hills. Runcorn's drive-in, a supermarket and 25 shops, was opened in 1991 on its northern border, adjoining Eight Mile Plains. There is also a smaller shopping area in Beenleigh Road midway between Runcorn and Fruitgrove railway stations.
The railway station and locality south-west of the Runcorn railway station is Fruitgrove, named in 1935 after a surrounding housing estate.
Runcorn's census populations have been: