The rail grapevine spreads wide, and when we heard about Queensland Rail selling several of its Sunlander carriages, we couldn’t resist going up to have a look-see. Sharing his excitement with his friends and family, the seeds for The Q Train were planted, and grew like a magic beanstalk!
The rolling stock, which was built in the mid 1950s, was purchased and brought down to Queenscliff, where the carriages are now being refurbished into a moving, culinary delight.
The photos here demonstrate the idea coming to fruition, from the carriages in place in Queensland, via RailworX truck fleet enroute to Queenscliff, and in place at the Bellarine Railway, ready for restoration. As can be imagined, this was a mammoth logistical effort, which has taken months to undertake. The evidence is in these photos! And we still have more that will be transported as needed. The Q Train will start off with two dining carriages and two bar cars, with plans to add more once the refurbishment is complete. Specialist service vehicles providing on-train power, facilities for food preparation, storage and a full commercial kitchen will support the carriages. These too, required transport from Queensland.
While work on restoration continues, the RailworX crew commenced the extension of the siding at Mannerim, on behalf of the Bellarine Peninsula Railway, and “The Q Train.” Follow the earthworks being done in the gallery below – from paddock to just awaiting the sleepers!
Restoration work is being undertaken in the Bellarine Railways workshop, allowing the carriages to be protected from the elements as they are stripped, sanded, cleaned and painted. We would also like to thank the volunteers of The Bellarine Railway for their expertise, enthusiasm and assistance.
When fully operational, The Q Train could employ a staff of approximately 25 people from the Geelong region providing on board catering, customer service, train operations, maintenance and administration.
So we have the use of a facility, we have the carriages and the workers… let’s move on to restoration, and watch The Q Train come to life!