ORA Rail Motor Relocations
Historic Bullet Trains Given New Lease Of Life
As Outback Attraction
In November 2022, Outback Aussie Tours relocated two iconic Queensland Rail heritage 2000 class rail motors from Ipswich to their new home in Longreach, Outback Queensland.
The silver bullet rail motors (RM2034 and RM 2036) were built in 1971, fitted with 12.5L Leyland engines and housed at Queensland Rail’s Ipswich Workshop prior to the relocation to Longreach.
The 2000 class rail motors originally ran services in Brisbane’s southside and the north coastline to Gympie and Bundaberg and the Corinda-Yeerongpilly shuttle. They were used by Queensland Rail (QR) Heritage for special tours to Toowoomba for the Carnival of Flowers and removed from service on 26 January 2000 but have been retained by QR for charter and QR departmental work.
Since 2019 Outback Aussie Tours owners, Alan and Sue Smith have been overseeing construction of a new maintenance facility and rail siding for the rail motors to be housed in Longreach. Their new attraction will be named the Outback Rail Adventure.
Outback Aussie Tours is excited to bring such an iconic style of rail motor to the outback and share them with Outback locals and tourists alike. “Whether you like trains or like the Outback, or both, this is going to be a new and entertaining experience in Longreach.”
Alan says: “We have such a great number of attractions here in Longreach and surrounding localities for visitors to come and enjoy, it’s going to be great to add another unique attraction to Outback Queensland’s tourism offerings.”
“Our new and exciting experiences will begin with phase one – which includes the Great Darr River Run, the Silver Tail Sunset, the Historic Ilfracombe Excursion and the Old Bluey’s Flyer. Future phases will include Barcaldine, Emerald and Winton.”
“All going according to plan, we hope to have the refurbished rail motors operational in Longreach by early 2023 with train experiences commencing in May 2023.”
The 22 tonne railmotors which are just over 17 metres in length, will be transported to Longreach on a specialised flatbed tilt truck, travelling over 1100km to their new home.
This project was supported through the Queensland Government’s Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
The first rail motor departed Ipswich on Wednesday 9 November and arrived in Longreach on Thursday afternoon 10 November 2022.
An official event was held to celebrate the train leaving the Ipswich Rail Museum Workshops, with travel and industry professionals in attendance.
The team documented the two day journey by road, stopping at many towns along the way.
The Longreach community came out to welcome the rail motor to town, while still on the flatbed tilt truck. Local families and children came down to help the Outback Aussie Tours team celebrate along with local dignataries and elders.
Alan and Sue have owned and run Aussie Outback Tours, based in Longreach, for over 35 years, and are passionate about sharing the Outback with locals and visitors alike.
Keep up to date with the Outback Rail Adventure in 2023 here.