Queensland Railways - Pictures from the 1950's and 60's.

From the lens of Kim Thurlow

Not a particularly clear image, but one that shows the spirit of the thing. The Sydney Express southbound from Toowoomba.
I can remember clearly being very disappointed at the quality when it finally emerged from the dark room. I had spent a lot of planning on this, and of course, when the time comes, there is some trepidation. The train is moving quite fast for our region and times, about 40 mph, down the bank southward from Harristown toward Alderley Street level (grade) crossing. And I did not have the luxury of taking frame after frame, as film was not cheap. So I made do. My Voigtlander camera at this time was a folding bellows 35mm with upper viewfinder. I thought I was really tech savvy with that camera, with adjustable f.stop diaghram and top speed of 1/250 of a second. This speed was usually adquate for Queensland railways photography.

850 was a B18.1/4 built in Walkers shops, Maryborough in 1936. This class was the precursor to the modernised BB18.1/4, although same in wheel and frame dimensions. The class number derives from the cylinder diameter, 18.1/4 inches, of which there were two outside, and Walschaerts valve gear.

In 1962, I noted one of the class #870, painted a very light apple green, and I promptly dubbed it "BEAU VERDE". The usual colour was in my opinion, very similar to GW R green, or the British railways green of their standard classes of the 50's.

Each of the cars on this train was of the open ended verandah or vestibule type, and you could pass between each car through a gate on the verandah, over a small overlapping platform from each car. The cars were painted tuscan red, and were clad in vertical jointed (VJ) timber about 2 inches in width. I believe that most of them were built in the Ipswich Railway Workshops, and weighed about 27 tons. The interior panel work in varnished Queensland maple were, like the rest of the construction, a tribute to the workers who crafted them.

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