Branchline Operation in Qld

At one time Queensland had a lot of branchlines that served some very remote places. Sadly most of those lines have gone … or only see the occasional tourist train.

However, thanks to dedicated enthusiasts who videod the operations on some of these branchlines before they were closed, we have something to remember them by.

That’s what you will find on this page … along with some footage of some of the tourist trains that still tread those light branchline rails.

Wallangarra Ballast
It was once part of the mainline between Brisbane and Sydney … but now its not much more than a very long branchline that doesn’t see much traffic.

Queensland Branchline Freight – Charleville, Quilpie, Cunnamulla
Branchline freights on these lines have long gone … but back in 2005 they were still running twice a week.

DH45 to Wallangarra
It’s March 7, 2020 and we’re chasing a Southern Downs Steam Railway diesel hauled tour to Stanthorpe and Wallangarra

A Busy Day on the Townsville Jetty Branch
The 3km line down to the Townsville Jetty runs through the centre of the city and it’s one branchline that still sees plenty of traffic.

Working the Maryborough Wharf Branch
This was once the busiest branch in Queensland with up to three trains on the short branch at any one time.

There were fuel depots, a ship and locomotive builder and sugar refinery were the biggest and, in cane cutting season, it must have been a safeworking nightmare complete with a switchback in the middle of a busy road and 80-metre radius curves.

But nearly all of that is gone. All that’s left is the locomotive builder (the last ship was built in 1975) and a small tourist operation still using those tight curves and that switchback.

This is what it looked like in 2013.

The Forsayth Mixed
Many people have ridden the Kuranda Tourist Train but not so many have seen what was like beyond Kuranda. There was a lot of railway beyond there and it was serviced by the Forsayth Mixed.

We’re riding the weekly Forsayth Mixed, a train that passed Kuranda in the dark and still had a long way to go and a lot of work to do by the time the sun came up.

The Maryborough Branchline
The early railways in Queensland consisted of a number of separate lines that started at a port and headed inland and Maryborough was one of these.

Eventually these separate lines were connected by the main north coast line. In most cases the mainline ran through each terminus but things were different at Maryborough.

Here the main station was bypassed and line into Maryborough became a branchline even though all the shunting and loco servicing for the mainline was done down at the end of the branch and it was perhaps the busiest branchline terminus in Australia.

Here is some of the action in November and December, 1990.

And here is some more railway action along the Maryborough branch from 1988

The Mary Valley Pineapple Train
Goods trains … and government passenger trains … have been gone from the lush Mary Valley in Queensland for many years but in 1994 a regular goods train still ran on a regular basis to service the pineapple traffic.

It obviously took a lot of effort to move a small amount of produce.