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RM93 at Golden Gate near Croydon
in August 2008
Service typePassenger train
Current operator(s)Queensland Rail
Distance travelled151 kilometres
Average journey time5 hours full trip 2 hour short trips
Service frequencyWeekly and daily
Line(s) usedNormanton
On-board services
Seating arrangements100
Catering facilitiesMorning Tea
Entertainment facilitiesGuided Commentary
Baggage facilitiesYes
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Operating speed40km/h
Track owner(s)Queensland Rail
Route map
Critter’s Camp
East Haydon
Golden Gate

The Gulflander is an Australian passenger train operated by Queensland Rail on the isolated Normanton to Croydon line in the Gulf Country of northern Queensland.[1][2][3][4]


RM93 and trailer about to depart Normanton on its weekly run to Croydon in July 1991
RM60 at Normanton in May 2008
DL4 at Normanton in July 1991

Steam locomotives were used until 1929. By that stage railmotors had been introduced since 1922.[5] By 1974 the line was under the threat of closure, earning just $3,000 in revenue but costing $64,000 to maintain.[6]

Today the line exists as a tourist attraction and is said to be more an adventure than a train ride. The crews are qualified guides and will stop the train and talk about points of interest. The present three-car railmotor set of RM93 Gardner diesel railmotor and carriages TP1809 and TP1811 is known as "the old Tin Hare".[7]


The service runs once per week to Croydon on Wednesdays, returning to Normanton on Thursdays. Shorter charter services on most other days are also available.[8]


Thirteen power units have been used on the line. It is unusual that of the 13 units, 12 survive in one form or another and most are still in the region due mainly to its remoteness.[2] They are as follows:[9]


  1. ^ "Meandering through the Gulf on rails". The Canberra Times. 67, (21, 236). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 6 June 1993. p. 25. Retrieved 30 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ a b Knowles, J. W. (John W.); Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Society (1983), Lonely rails in the Gulf Country : the story of the Normanton-Croydon Railway, Queensland, J.W. Knowles : Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Society [distributor], ISBN 978-0-9593651-1-5
  3. ^ Friends of the Normanton-Croydon Railway (issuing body.) (1900), The Gulflander gazette : the voice of the tin hare, [Canberra] Friends of the Normanton-Croydon Railway, ISSN 2207-4643
  4. ^ Manara, Gian Carlo; SBS-TV (1992), Stations : the journey of the "Gulflander", SBS, retrieved 30 March 2017
  5. ^ "THE DECLINE AND FALL OF CROYDON". The Courier-mail. Queensland, Australia. 22 July 1954. p. 7. Retrieved 30 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Bromby, Robin (2004). The Railway Age in Australia. Lothian Press. p. 96. ISBN 0-7344-0715-7.
  7. ^ Gulflander Train Croydon Shire Council
  8. ^ Timetable & Fares The Gulflander
  9. ^ Locomotives The Gulflander
  10. ^ Croydon Heritage Preservation Association Croydon Shire Council
  11. ^ A10 202 Archived 20 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Australian Steam
  12. ^ A10 203 Archived 17 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Australian Steam
  13. ^ A10 204 Archived 9 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Australian Steam
  14. ^ Railmotor on 2200km journey Archived 20 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Queensland Times 15 July 2011
  15. ^ RM74 Archived 20 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Redland Museum
  16. ^ a b The 1800 Class "Blue Lagoons" Archived 8 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Queensland's Great Trains
  17. ^ "Savannahlander & Gulflander Tours - The Savannahlander". Archived from the original on 2 August 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  18. ^ a b Dunn, John (2006). Comeng: A History of Commonwealth Engineering Volume 1: 1921-1955. Kenthurst: Rosenberg Publishing. p. 206. ISBN 1877058424.

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