G'day all, I misread the timetable last week and had us arriving at Wallangarra from Sydney when we were actually departing for Brisbane. So for what it's worth we arrived at 7.48am and at 8.20am we departed northbound.
The grand in name if not in performance "Brisbane Express" became just "The Mail" on the Queensland Government Railways narrow gauge metals and was allowed over 10 hours for the 223 odd miles to Roma Street Station in Brisbane.
The old QGR had a few rather distinctive practices one of which was the seemingly haphazard allocation of locomotive numbers. For instance we had engine no 52 out of Wallangarra, it was a B181/4 Pacific but goodness knows what Nos. 51 and 53 were. These Pacifics were first introduced to traffic in 1926 and 52 was one of the early ones having a small tender.
Anyway we trundled along until we reached Glen Niven. At Cambooya the southbound "Mail" turned up behind 1043, one of the more modern 1950s Pacifics.
Toowoomba was reached at 1.55 pm for a 30 minute refreshment stop, shortly after we arrived 1014 arrived in the dock platform with No19, the connection from Roma.
Extra cars were added to our train here and we departed for Brisbane at 2.25 behind another BB181/4, its number long forgotten.
By 1963 the days of leisurely long distance travel were drawing to a close, car ownership was coming within the reach of more and more people and these slow long distance trains just couldn't compete for time or comfort and the mail went over to road or air transport.
That said, Queensland still has some long distance trains and I think I can feel another long train ride coming on. I might go sleeper this time.
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