In 1985 Deutsche Bundesbahn, the German Federal Railways started trialling their Intercity-Express trains, which eventually became a huge success and a flagship product of the railways. Three years later, Queensland Railways deployed their InterCityExpress trains on the Spirit of Capricorn service between Brisbane and Rockhampton. Although the Australian ICEs could reach a less-than-impressive 120km/h (the German counterpart, ICE1, 280km/h) they still had some interesting features - e.g. electrically closed swing doors or rotating seats which used to be altered by the staff at the termini so that every passenger could face the direction of travel. After the introduction of the Rockhampton Tilt Train in 1997, the ICEs were cascaded to less prestious tasks. In November 2011 ICE158 is at the helm of an afternoon service from Gympie North to Brisbane Roma St., one of just two such services a day.
RM76 railbus is about to be turned around on a hand-operated turntable at Dagun. The Mary Valley Railway used to operate regular trains on a scenic route between Gympie, Dagun and Imbil. It was, however, closed on safety grounds less than a year from when this picture was taken. Despite that Gympie lies on a mainline and it’s just 160 km out of Brisbane, it would take three days to visit the railway by means of public transport.
Blackwater lies in a major coal mining area of Queensland, with seven mines in this locality. To cater for the transport of the output almost 1000 kilometres of tracks have been laid, most of them electrified. On one of the unelectrified sidings 2481D awaits the departure time with an aggregates train.
The little station of Wallangarra lies exactly on the border of New South Wales and Queensland. It used to be the place where passengers and mail travelling from one state to the other would change trains due to different track gauges. In fact, one of the platforms has a standard (New South Wales) 1435mm gauge track, whilst the other has a narrow 1067mm Queensland gauge. Passenger services to Wallangarra ceased in 1972, and last freight train ran to the station in 2007. Reportedly, the station still sees occasional rail tour traffic.
Little good can be said about trains in Queensland. The suburban services offer rather spartan accommodation and vast portion of the stock is not even fitted with ‘conveniences’. Here a member of 88 unit strong ‘EMU’ class is seen before departing from Cleveland to Brisbane City.