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Trainspotters and Queensland rail travel

by Fiona Harper

Trainspotters please stand clear! Contain yourself please. Yes, we know there’s an historic steam train plying the tracks of Queensland at the moment but still, get a grip.

With  Queensland Rail celebrating 150 years, a heritage steam train pulled into Cairns recently after a long slow journey from Brisbane. The old girl will be in the area for about a week, taking trainspotters on journeys between Cairns, Kuranda and Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands before returning to Brisbane. Trainspotters (also known as gunzels or trainiacs) have been spotted trackside clutching cameras and train timetables, anxiously checking their watches in anticipating.

The Queensland Rail network has come a long way in 150 years. Having said goodbye to the Sunlander, which plied the Brisbane-Cairns route fo 60 years, she’s been replaced with the state-of-the-art Spirit of Queensland late last year.

Queensland Rail Senior Manager Heritage Greg Fill said thousands of hours of painstaking work had gone into restoring the steam train to ensure it was in pristine condition for its journey.
“Staff and volunteers have meticulously and tirelessly overhauled steam locomotives BB18 ¼ 1079 and 1089 and nine wooden carriages that will make their way up to North Queensland,” Mr Fill said.


Check out Queensland Rail regional train services throughout Queensland

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land and waters on which we live, work and travel. As people who seek meaning and knowledge through storytelling, we recognise that the First Peoples of this land have been doing so for over 60,000 years. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.