Kim Thurlow's Album of Queensland Steam- Quilpie

Adrian Hurley, who has experienced life on the QR during the last 30 years or so, submitted the above picture, and I publish his comments in full, below. Thankyou Adrian for this opportunity.

" I acquired the photo from Walter Duffel who was a Driver at Charleville. He had no idea when the shot was taken or the number of the locomotive. It depicts a PB15 class on the front of the "Flea" train 99 Down ready to depart Quilpie station for Charleville probably in the early 50's. PB's were the regular motive power on the flea although C17's did work stock trains between Charleville and Quilpie. The other line, Cunnamulla, was PB only although I have been told that a C17 did venture to Wallal once after a "blue" with the Westgate staff. The "Flea" was a connection with the mail or "Westlander" and in later years actually took a couple of M type "Lander" coaches to Quilpie as part of it's very short consist (hence it's name). The track to Quilpie was 42 lb light rail and the timetable required some pretty quick operation. In later diesel days this was a steady 60 kph and you really had to hang on. As can be seen, the arrival and departure of the "Flea" was quite an occasion at Quilpie."

I will make the comment, that the Quilpie line left the Charleville-Cunnamulla line westward from a small junction known as Westgate, only a stone's throw south of Charleville. The station was known as Quilpil prior to 1917, as evidenced by a parcels stamp I have seen. The word is native for the curlew bird.

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