The Westlander in the 1950s
The Westlander in the 1950s Contributed

LOOKING BACK: Iconic Westlander train continues to roll

AT ABOUT 8.13pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays a train service passes through Ipswich on its way west.

The Westlander, now a modest train of three coaches and a baggage car, pauses at Ipswich station to pick up passengers.

Various incarnations of the Westlander have been stopping at Ipswich on their journey between Brisbane and Charleville for 65 years.

The first Westlander along with sister trains the Sunlander, Inlander and Midlander first ran in 1954.

These new trains were a bold example of the railways plans to modernise their fleet and services.

A series of steel coaches were built for these trains.

They were the first air-conditioned railway vehicles to operate in the state and were filled with modern seating and accommodation.

Officially called 'M' Series Cars, they became known affectionately as the "Lander" coaches.

Such was the quality of their construction the last of the "Lander" coaches weren't retired until 2015 with the final run of the Sunlander.

Today the Westlander continues to run its 17-hour trip between Brisbane and Charleville with more modern passenger coaches.

Those who wish to experience what it was like travelling on those classic 1950s trains might like to consider booking a Murder Mystery experience with the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway.

The volunteers were gifted six "Lander" cars when they were retired in 2015, and have worked hard to return them to their original colour scheme.



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