Queensland Railways steel carriage stock

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Two types of steel bodied air-conditioned carriage stock have been used on long distance Queensland Rail services.

M series[edit]

M series
In service 1953-2014
Manufacturer Commonwealth Engineering
Built at Rocklea
Constructed 1953-1955
Number built 99
Operator(s) Queensland Rail
Specifications
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
The Sunlander in 2010

In January 1950, Queensland Railways awarded a contract for 99 steel bodied carriages to Commonwealth Engineering, Rocklea. These were purchased to operate the Lander series of trains, The Inlander, The Midlander, The Sunlander and The Westlander entering service between 1953 and 1955.[1]

The original order of 99 cars was for:[1]

  • 8 x MPC class power generation vans
  • 8 x MMV class mail vans
  • 14 x MBC class luggage vans
  • 6 x MDC class dining cars
  • 10 x MAL class first class sitting cars (36 seats)
  • 14 x MBL class second class sitting cars (52 seats)
  • 3 x MCL class composite sitting cars (18 first-class, 24 second-class seats)
  • 15 x MAS class first class sleeping cars (14 berths)
  • 15 x MBS class second class sleeping cars (24 berths)
  • 6 x MCS class composite sleeping cars (8 first-class, 9 second-class berths)

In 2007 as well as 2010, Queensland Rail decided that the 80 remaining M-series carriages would have to be removed from service by December 2013.[2] With the replacement of The Sunlander by the Spirit of Queensland, the M-series carriages were retired in December 2014.[3]

Five cars (MBC1449, MBS1483, MAS1501, MBL1506 & MBLM1526) were purchased by the DownsSteam Tourist Railway & Museum.[4][5] MBS1473 has been preserved at Cecil Plains railway museum, located at the former railway station.

Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway at Swanbank were gifted six coaches upon the retirement of M class from Queensland Rail.[6] The coaches gifted were:

  • Sleeping car MAS 1540 (the final M Car)
  • Power car MPCC 1437
  • Dining car MDC 1461 (from the Sunlander)
  • Bar-diner MCD 1528
  • Tropics club car 1502 (from the Sunlander, still in its 1990s configuration)
  • Combined sleeper-diner "The Stockmans" MBS/L 1476 (formerly of "The Spirit of the Outback")

Four of these cars have undergone work to return them to traffic as the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway Dinner Train, which runs over 7km of scenic railway track at Ipswich, and sport the original blue and white livery they first wore in 1953.

L series[edit]

L series
In service 1981-present
Manufacturer Commonwealth Engineering
Built at Rocklea
Constructed 1981-1985
Number built 30
Operator(s) Queensland Rail
Specifications
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

Between October 1981 and October 1985, Comeng built a further 30 carriages. These were built out of stainless steel.[7]

The original order was for 5 x LBL class second class sitting cars (48 seats).

Subsequent orders added an additional:

  • 5 x LAL class first class sitting cars (36 seats)
  • 5 x LBL class second class sitting cars (48 seats)
  • 10 x LAR class roomette sleeping cars (14 berths)
  • 5 x LDC dining cars

In 2007 as well as 2010, Queensland Rail projected that the 30 remaining L series carriages could operate for a further 15 years, pending refurbishment.[2] In July 2014, tenders were called to reconfigure 11 L series carriages.[8] With The Sunlander withdrawn, this allowed The Inlander, Spirit of the Outback and The Westlander to be converted to L series stock.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dunn, John (2006). Comeng A History of Commonwealth Engineering 1921-1955. Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 182–198. ISBN 1877058424. 
  2. ^ a b Queensland Audit Office. "Traveltrain renewal: Sunlander 14. Report 8: 2014-15" (PDF). Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Queensland Rail (8 September 2014). "New levels of comfort aboard The Spirit of the Outback". Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "End of an era" Railway Digest May 2014 pages 34/35
  5. ^ "Motive Power News" Motive Power issue 100 July 2015 page 23
  6. ^ Hartley, Anna. "Queensland Rail's heritage carriage gift to lift spirits". Queensland Times. Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  7. ^ Dunn, John (2013). Comeng A History of Commonwealth Engineering 1985-2012. Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 141–147. ISBN 9781922013521. 
  8. ^ L-Series interior carriage conversion Archived October 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Queensland Government Procurement
  9. ^ "Tenders called for Queensland Rail L series car conversions" Railway Digest September 2014 page 16