The end of the Sunlander
QLD Government media release - click here

What future for the Westlander, Inlander & SOTO?

Quote:Joint Statement:

Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Anna Bligh

Minister for Transport
The Honourable Rachel Nolan

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World class trains for Queensland supporting 800 jobs for Maryborough

Premier Anna Bligh has announced the State Government will invest $189 million to buy another Tilt Train and upgrade the existing two tilt trains.

Ms Bligh said the work will be carried out at Maryborough’s Downer EDI facility providing support for 800 direct and indirect jobs in the Wide Bay region.

The existing Sunlander Train, which has been in service for 45 years, will be replaced by the new Tilt Train, slashing at least five hours from travel times.

“Travelling the Brisbane to Cairns rail route is one of the world’s top train journeys,” said Ms Bligh.

“It takes you past the magnificent Glasshouse Mountains, the cane country of North Queensland and the majestic tropics beyond Townsville.

“This $189 million investment means passengers on this world class route will be able to travel in world class luxury.”

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said the new trains will feature:

* Deluxe sleeper cars with personal ensuites;
* First class cars with lay flat seats, similar to airline sky beds;
* A restaurant car with a la carte dining;
* Smart, flatscreen TVs in all seats featuring in-seat entertainment with movies, news, sport, weather and music on demand;
* First class café-style lounge;
* Premium economy sitting cars and club lounges.

“Awarding the $189 million contract to Maryborough’s Downer EDI facility meant 500 direct jobs at the workshops plus an additional 300 jobs in the region,” said the Minister.

“This new contract will sustain those jobs right through to 2014,” she said.

Premier Bligh said the $189 million investment would contribute to improved services for the next half a century.

“The Tilt trains are the fastest trains in Australia,” she said.

“They travel at speeds of up to 160 km an hour and this new train will cut at least five hours off the travel time on the entire route when travelling on the old Sunlander.

“It is because this Government has embarked on our program of assets sales that we can make this promise to Queenslanders,” she said.

“It is because we have created a rail company that is completely dedicated to its passengers that we can deliver these focused improvements.

“This investment in the future of regional rail travel will allow us to continue to provide six return services between Brisbane and Cairns a week.

“It allows us to provide faster and more comfortable options for tourists and regional Queenslanders, for whom inter-city train travel is essential.”
Rail should be the backbone of our transport system. That fact that it is not is an indictment of the systematic failure of transport planning and policy in this country.

Sunlander train books appointment for luxury makeover October 27, 2010 - 11:20AM

Luxurious new trains will run between Brisbane and Cairns by 2014, mirroring the luxuries of premium air travel, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says.

The Queensland government will invest $189 million to buy another tilt train and upgrade the existing two, Ms Bligh told parliament today.

Providing the fastest rail service in Australia, running at up to 160km/h, the tilt trains will cut five hours off the travel time of the old Sunlander, which will be decommissioned after serving for 45 years, she said.

Advertisement: Story continues below "Travelling north on the Sunlander is an iconic Queensland experience (and) that experience is about to get a whole lot better," Ms Bligh said.

The new trains will feature deluxe sleeper cars with personal ensuites, first-class cars with lay-flat seats like airline skybeds, and premium economy seating.

A restaurant car will boast a la carte dining, and flat-screen televisions with movies and shows on demand will be installed in every seat.

"It allows us to provide faster and more comfortable options for tourists and for regional Queenslanders for whom inter-city train travel is essential," Ms Bligh said.

The premier said the contract to build the trains had been awarded to a Maryborough facility, supporting 800 jobs.

The trains are expected to be running by mid-2014.


It takes many nails to build a crib, but one screw to fill it.
What about the Motor Rail on the back, as I use this almost annually to avoid driving on the Bruce Goatrack.
Driving D17 122 for the last time on 175 down in Feb 1967 at Buranda before she was scrapped.
This would be the response to the Retention Toilet issue. I'm guessing they'll do something with the SOTO, but i don't hold much hope for the Inlander and Westie...
All comments made by myself are as a private citizen, and are not made on behalf of Aurizon or Australia Eastern Railroad.

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Never play leapfrog with a Unicorn
The head of EDI has told the ABC that the new train will have two state-of-the-art locomotives and twelve carriages (presumably the rebuilt sets will have the extra cars too) so it looks like the order will be for two locomotives and 22 carriages.

At a guess it looks like the five extra cars per set will be a restaurant car, two first class sitter/layflats (possibly with only one seat on each side like a 19th century parlor car) and two deluxe sleepers, while the existing buffet cars will be converted to the club cars...maybe
Nickel Plate High Speed Service
They will have to fix the track up as well, because even in the current top of the range L class roomettes the ride gets rough at 100 kph, particularly with sideways movement, causing me to head for the motion sickness pills sometimes. Wonder what this will be like at 160 kph..
Driving D17 122 for the last time on 175 down in Feb 1967 at Buranda before she was scrapped.
(27-Oct-2010, 01:05 PM)johnmc Wrote: This would be the response to the Retention Toilet issue. I'm guessing they'll do something with the SOTO, but i don't hold much hope for the Inlander and Westie...

Which issue is this? I infer that the environmental nazis or the OH&S nazis have outlawed (or are about to outlaw) the long-drop style toilets?

They already have. The individual toilets that were a feature of the first class roomettes on the Sunlander were blocked off about 6 years ago ( no reduction in fare though ), with only 1 toilet at the end of the car now. Elderly less mobile people used to book roomettes mostly because of individual toilets. So much for progress and thinking of those less fortunate...
Driving D17 122 for the last time on 175 down in Feb 1967 at Buranda before she was scrapped.
Sounds like it may have helped EDI stay "on track". A sure fire vote winner exercise and bugger all else. Look at that crap section of track from Mungar to Owanyilla and Woondum - Glanmire (as well as the many others like it). Not much good having a 160k capable train over that. Bit like owning a Mercedes S500 or a WRX and then choking it to death only running around town.

Dunno, call me a skeptic but I reckon its a load of codswallop really.
"You have enemies? Good! That means that you have stood up for something you believe in, at some time in your life....."
Happened to be at a meeting with the regional passenger section of the department of transport and main roads today when the press release came out. I just had to ask when I should be thinking about booking a trip on Westy or the Inlander before they disappeared. They would not (of course) do anything so crass as to admit to a cessation of those services, but they did ask me what I was doing over Christmas. Of course the M series cars are doomed, but they'll probably try and squeeze a little more life out of the L series, so one of the inland services might struggle on for a bit.
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