• Great South Pacific Express

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by george matthews
 
Did this train have two sections: one for narrow gauge; one for standard? Or did it change the wheel sets in Brisbane?

  by David Benton
 
Never heard of it George . When did it run ?
the standard gauge track from the NSW border to Brisbane is relatively new (post war ? ) .
Im not aware of any wheel gauge changing facilities in Australia .Practice in south australia was to load the narrow gauge wagons onto standard gauge flat tops . Everywhere else it was trans ship .

  by george matthews
 
David Benton wrote:Never heard of it George . When did it run ?
the standard gauge track from the NSW border to Brisbane is relatively new (post war ? ) .
Im not aware of any wheel gauge changing facilities in Australia .Practice in south australia was to load the narrow gauge wagons onto standard gauge flat tops . Everywhere else it was trans ship .
It was a luxury Orient Express type of train. It has been cancelled because of lack of custom. But it advertised itself as a single journey from Sydney or Melbourne to Cairns.

There were gauge changing facilities at Port Augustus or Port Pirie (can't remember which) where Irish gauge met the standard gauge. Possibly at Peterborough too. When I was on the Indian Pacific I saw where the changer had been.

I took the overnight train to Brisbane (March 1986) and saw that the track into Roma Street was just being laid - due to open a month or so later. The standard gauge terminal was then at Melbourne South.

So, what you say suggests that it was in fact two trains: one standard, the other Cape gauge.
Last edited by george matthews on Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by David Benton
 
funnily enough , I was in brisbane around that time , and recall the overnight express was leaving from Roma St . must have been just after you were there .
There have been proposals to build a railway up the other side of the Blue mountains , from melbourne to Brisbane to bypass Sydney , and the windy track north of Sydney . But such a Railway would be mainly for frieghts benefit , whether they would run a passenger train on it at all i dont know .

  by george matthews
 
I remember seeing at Peterborough a marvellous junction of interlaced tracks in three gauges: standard, Irish and Cape. They wouldn't let anyone out of the train so I couldn't photograph it.
  by raymond
 
Only one train used. The bogies were changed south of Brisbane hauled by Pacific National on standed gauge. The train toured to Sydney via Moss Vale and returned to Queensland. After returning to Brisbane bogies were exchanges to Narrow Gauges (3'6") for trip to Cains and sometimes Kuranda. The Electric haulage between Brisabane and Rockhampton by 3900 class loco, 2800 to Rockhampton to Cains. Keeping it the same train. The train is currently inactive stored at Ipswitch Railway Workshops. There is no start up date on horizon. Will attempt to find more information if requested.

Raymond.

  by David Benton
 
Welcome to our forum Raymond . and thanks for the info .

  by PClark
 
The bogies (trucks) were changed at Acacia Ridge yards south of Brisbane.

There was never a "through" service. Passengers travelling across Brisbane on a "Grand Tour" of the East Coast had to spend 2 nights at a hotel, about a 42 hour stop-over.

  by PClark
 
PS

I have posted an enquiry on Railpage Australia to see if anybody knows anything about the current status of this train and what future prospects it has or doesn't have.

Will advise if I find anything of interest.

  by David Benton
 
Thanks Peter , and welcome back to the "new " forums .

Ive often wondered if this type of train would do well in New Zealand .
such a trip is run a couple of times a year , from one end of the country to the other . They use aging ( but comfortable ) Railcars ( DMU) , and spend the nites in Hotels .
The carriages used in the asian Luxury train were originally from overnite services in NZ , ( and were partly refurbished in a town near mine ) , un fortunately the presecence of abestos insulation meant it wasnt viable to refurb them for NZ service .

  by PClark
 
David

I posted a bit about the GSPE on the "old" forum.

It was magnificently fitted out in a 1903 style, based on the Qld Governor-Generals car of that year. It had a full length kitchen, 2 dining rooms, a boutique, a piano lounge and an observation lounge with about 1/3 of the car being an open platform. There were only 4 cabins per sleeper, all of which had ensuites. Food, wine and service were really 5 star standard.

Unfortunately the cars were built using the bogies and undercarriages of freight train guard's vans and the ride qualities and noise levels were unacceptable for this style of operation at speeds above 50-60km/h.

This. as much as 9/11, Bali bombings and SARS, was a reason for it's eventual demise.

Fares were very high (minimum was $A1550 for Brisbane to Sydney) and the % of local travellers was low although I did travel on one trip that was quite heavily loaded.

As of yet, I have been unable to determine if the train has any future.

  by David Benton
 
i have seen a video of the making of these carriages . it was "Railway adventures across Australia , Volume 2 " .
i believe these programs were released in the States by Readers Digest , and possibly also shown on PBS tv

  by PClark
 
There is a glossy, hardcover book "Turning a Dream into Reality" published by Queensland Rail that details the constuction of the train. It was sold in the train Boutique but I have never seen it in a bookshop.

My enquiry on Railpage Australia about the current status of the mothballed train and it's possible future has not yet generated one reply. I suspect that the vast majority of correspondents on that website are teenage gunzels who have no interest in luxury trains.

  by David Benton
 
i watched the video again last nite . the train indeed appears to travel slowly , and was noticably moving around abit on the trucks .

  by PClark
 
After posting my enquiry about the current status of the GSPE on Railpage Australia I have received one reply after five days:-

"Well from what I heard the GPSE will run again but it's not known when. The condition of the train is the same but I have not been inside the train to see if everything is still in there.

And I really hope that the GPSE will be able to run again in the not to ditant future.

Cheers
Stephen"

(I presume "not to ditant" should be "not too distant")

Not much definite there but at least it has moved my posting back up near the top of the current page on the forum. If I hear anything more concrete I will post it on Railroad.Net

Peter