Today I'd like to tell you about a fabulous train ride in far north Queensland. In fact the best train ride I've been on in Australia. I am, after all what they call, a train buff. Not to be confused with train spotting.
The Savannahlander consists of a back to back railmotor, with a capacity of 96 passengers. If more people book the trip, they can add a central carriage. but that wasn't the case on our trip. In fact we only had 17 passengers on board.
The units were built for QR in 1963. Each unit consists of a 250HP Cummins diesel engine and Alison Auto gear box. OK, the technical stuff out of the way.
The Savannahlander departs from Cairns railway station on Wednesdays at 6.30 am at daybreak, then proceeds up the Kuranda rail track to Mareeba and from there all the way to Forsayth some 400 km inland, through cattle farms, woodlands and over creeks and rivers to the delight of passangers.
The whole trip takes four days, stopping at various places for the nights and visiting wonderful caves, gorges and lava tubes. No doubt you'll see those on the Blogger's blog. I am just concentrating on the train itself.
|The Savannahlnder at Cairns railway ststion|
|Anthony and Will are our drivers|
|The train emblem|
|The train is very comfortable|
There are seats at the from, including next to the driver, which passangers can use for periods of five minutes. These seats offer fabulous views for photographers.
|Anthony drives us through the hills|
The drivers alternate between driving the train and being train guards. They have merchandise on board which can be purchased during the trip
|Of course I had to buy a cap|
|The Blogger enjoys the trip|
At Bullock Creek, in the middle of nowhere, the train stops, the drivers disembark and set up for morning tea for the passengers, it's just wonderful. A cup of coffee, a piece of cake and a empty train out in the boondocks.
|The drivers communicate by two-way radio|
|The Savannahlander crosses the Stoney Creek Falls Bridge|
There are not many trips I've done that I would repeat, but this one I would, it's just a delight moving around on this 60s rail motor seeing the Australian outback.