Brisbane Limited / Murwillumbah MotoRail demise 30 years

 
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Bow your heads and a moments silence please for our long lost friends on their demise 30 years ago this week; The Brisbane Limited Express and Pacific Coast MotoRail nee Gold Coast MotoRail!

Brisbane Limited’s 1989 Timetable https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwcVo3R0tlR1NUdEE/view

Cheers  Peter Cokley

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  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Back in the 80's, when my sons were just kids, we went Melbourne to Brisbane, with the car, via the Southern Aurora and Gold Coast Motorail. It was a great trip, and the boys loved it. I can still recall it quite vividly.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Back in the 80's, when my sons were just kids, we went Melbourne to Brisbane, with the car, via the Southern Aurora and Gold Coast Motorail. It was a great trip, and the boys loved it. I can still recall it quite vividly.
Valvegear
Its very interesting really, while the GCMR took longer than the XPT, it had a better overall service, with the dining car, not just a floating pie shop as it is now with the luxury of frozen meals heated in the micro wave. And the old pie now costs around 50.c short of $7.00 as the meal options in a come and get it announcement.

The Motor rail service also was usually around 70% full in off peak and in holiday times two car carriers were on the train, a good wash was included in the price, helped with diesel dust and any other road grime though.  I don't know the numbers in the sleepers but on each occasion I was on board or picked my family up, the numbers seemed good and the sitting cars also were more often than not well patronised.

While it was more a long distance tourist train, it used to have locals from Casino, Lismore and other stations travel to Byron Bay for a day at the beach, in summer was older people, in winter it was the wet suit boardies. Still it provided income for State Rail, as they travelled to the Bay and back on the same train.

The replacement with the XPT I found drove people away from using the service. Didn't help when the privatisation of the freight side of services came in for the branch and with the loss of all the freight to each location, well not really loss, but turned away, only the X marked the spots.  The rest is history.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Following for those not aware of the train's history; Initial Murwillumbah MotoRail left Sydney Saturday, 3 March 1973, arriving Murwillumbah Sunday 4 March and the initial ex Murwillumbah Sunday 4 March 1973. Train N3 northbound and N4 southbound, using same numbers and carriages as the Brisbane Express which was discontinued at that stage. That meant N1 & N2 Brisbane Limited Express as the only standard gauge passenger into South Brisbane Interstate terminal. The Murwillumbah ceremonial welcome, with banner across street and politicians etc, was the following month, April 1973.

Found the introduction date for the MotoRail service to Casino. The unloading area was the dock siding northern end of the island platform. The Brisbane train used the western side and the Murwillumbah train used the eastern side of Casino's platform.

Weekly Notice 27 of Saturday 6 JULY 1974 noted Motorail facilities had been extended to include Casino and the charge for each vehicle or trailer was $30.00 between Sydney and Casino and $60.00 between Melbourne and Casino. Reservations for a motor vehicle could be arranged provided that the vehicle was placed at Sydney in the area indicated on the western ramp parking section between 2.00 p.m. and one hour prior to train departure time on the day of travel and at Murwillumbah or Melbourne one hour before departure time of the train on the day of travel. Reservations for space ex-Casino were accepted up to one hour prior to departure timer of the train from Murwillumbah on the day of travel and the vehicle needed to placed at Casino at least one hour prior to departure time of the train from that station. Ticketing; Depending on the destination, the "Berth or Seat Warrant" is also to be endorsed "Vehicle to be lodged at not later than ............. p.m." (ie, one hour prior-to departure time of the train).

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