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Track Tests begin on QRs Tilting Tropical Explorer

By Lyle Barlow

The Brisbane - Cairns Tilt Train scheduled to enter Service in 2003 is presently undergoing tests as a 2-locomotive 7-car consist.

This new diesel-powered tilt train is part of the continuing funding commitment by the Beattie Labor Government to provide new passenger rollingstock and facilities. Construction work on the travel train maintenance facility at Mayne, Brisbane, is expected to be completed by August / September this year.

The original design concept included sleeper cars. Unfortunately the State government deleted them as a cost-saving. The RTBU argued strongly to retain them, but could only get a "look at in the future" decision from the government.

The daylight electric tilt train from Brisbane to Rockhampton is a resounding success. But the longer distance to Cairns, without Sleeper cars, could reduce the attractiveness of what is otherwise an exciting additional QR service.

However QR staff will maintain and service the train from day one.
The government is considering options for the other long distance QR train services. Hopefully the sleeper services will continue and perhaps increase.

As the principle union in rail, with full cooperation from QR, we have been active in all task groups working to ensure the safe and efficient operation and service of this Cairns Tilt Train.

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