News

Great train mystery solved as luxury carriages ship out

GONE: The luxury carriages of the Great South Pacific Express leave North Ipswich.
GONE: The luxury carriages of the Great South Pacific Express leave North Ipswich.

THE mystery of the Great South Pacific Express was solved yesterday when carriages from the luxury train surfaced from the North Ipswich Railway Workshops and were loaded onto trucks.

The $35 million tourist train project has been parked and left in storage at North Ipswich since it was sold for an undisclosed amount in 2005 to the London-based Orient Express Hotels, now Belmond Ltd. They jointly operated the train with Queensland Rail from the project's beginnings in 1996.

The Great South Pacific Express' 21 carriages were built at QR's Townsville workshops.

The luxury tourist train ceased to operate in 2003 after running up losses of about $12 million over four years. The losses followed the downturn in international travel after September 11.

It operated between Kuranda near Cairns and Sydney from 1999.

Contributed

A Queensland Rail spokeswoman said Belmond had advised the carriages of the GSPE would be transferred to Peru where Belmond operates PeruRail, 50-50 joint venture with Peruvian investors.

"This includes Belmond Hiram Bingham - the luxury day train that takes guests on the scenic journey between Cusco and Machu Picchu," she said. "Belmond have advised Queensland Rail that they are now looking at opportunities to restore the carriages and re-launch the train."

Queensland Rail has leased space at the Ipswich Workshops to Belmond, where they have remained stabled and protected.

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said he was pleased to see the carriages return to service.

"While this is a sad event for those familiar with the carriages, it is good to see that they will be put back into service and enjoyed by train travellers in Peru," Mr Madden said.

The $35 million Great South Pacific Express heads overseas.
The $35 million Great South Pacific Express heads overseas.

Topics:  ipswich mystery train



Man bitten by snake in Ipswich home

An eastern brown snake. Photo Contributed

AMBULANCE called as man reports snake bite.

Nardya Miller honoured by her best friend

Nardya Miller passed away in January.

"She would have wanted something positive to come out of this."

Violent burglary: Two men in Polair chase, officer assaulted

Police officer seriously assaulted, residents threatened with guns

Local Partners

Married At First Sight couple flouts the rules

ONE couple is openly flouting the rules of Nine's series. Their kind-of-not-really-a-breakup has confused the experts, their fellow contestants, and Australia.

The one film that could beat La La Land

Mahershala Ali and Alex R Hibbert in a scene from the movie Moonlight.

OSCARS 2017 predictions: Who will win on the big night?

Actor Bill Paxton has died aged 61

Bill Paxton at the premiere of "Captain Phillips".

American actor and director Bill Paxton has died at 61 due

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films most likely to win at Oscars.

Can rightful winner Moonlight take out Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

Mining downturn hitting mum and dad investors

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!