Kim Thurlow's

Portfolio of Queensland Railways - Harristown 1960s

This photo shows the Brisbane bound Brisbane Express (originating in Sydney) passing through Harristown around 2pm sometime in 1961 or 1962. It must have been a reasonably cloudy day, as the shadow cast by the strong sunlight in this part of Queensland would normally make the wheels so dark as to be invisible.

The train is in the platform loop line, and slowing for the fireman to pick up the staff (token) which gives the train permission to proceed on the single line section for the 2 or so miles to Toowoomba. The staff was secured to a cane loop, and retrieved by the extended arm of the fireman from the station attendant, who held it at arm's length while the train passed at up to 30 miles per hour. At the same time, the fireman dropped the staff for the preceding section so as to land not far from the station attendant. The retrieval and dropping of these cane loops often seemed to be achieved simultaneously, all in the blink of an eye, and was obviously a practiced art by the engine crew.

The train is hauled by BB18.1/4 class, engine number 1039. At this time the train could be made up of up to 10 vehicles, not all of them passenger.

  Home Page