The 8 of them are in Gladstone Yard down Auckland Point there a few 3551,s in Gladstone as well there ones with ongoing faults, there was a rumor with Wiggins they will need all there locos, and they may get refit but just rumor and now we keep getting extra 37 and 38,s,.. The 39,s Freight could have, the older Drivers that drove them said they were great. But Being converted to single cab adds mucking around turning them, and then Freight will have to pitch in with the bill of the over head power.
Also , and still just hear say, heard the over head is due for upgrading possible from Gladstone south to the outer suburban area pull the over head down , only train using it is the Tilt, run Diesel Tilts instead.
QR and PN don't seem to have an issue turning diesels, so turning a single cab 3900 shouldn't be an issue, but agree it woudl be easier if it had two cabs as few turning locations would be sparked.
The ongoing debate of what to do with the OH between Gladstone and Gympie.
No. 1 it won't be pulled down, that costs money and as long as the poles are not at risk it will stay
No. 2 Issue is, what Diesel tilts? QR has 2 (barely) a 3rd is coming to run to Cairns 6 days a week, 2 per week each. There isn't enough fat to run the RTT service with the same trains.
No. 3 Much of the lander cars are to be retired next year, with remainder tied up with what ever lander services remain and this is likely to be SOTO only.
No. 4 Cutting the RTT service leaves two expensive trains with no work in Qld. They would probably be sold for little money as few 3'6" operations would have need or abiilty to run similar service for such a train, ie the line would need to be 25kVA or similar OH supply with reasonable track quality for a train service to go +80-100km/hr. Other why not just buy 2nd hand narrow gauge lander style rolling stock, new would probably be cheaper. Not saying zero, but it will be few operators.
Define "Upgrading" that could be as low as few hundred k to millions? why upgrade for 1-2 a day train? It only needs to be sustained.
I think if anything cutting the RTT to Bundy return is something that could be a realistic option. Saves 200km of OH maintanence. Gladstone now has Virgin. Mirrum Vale and Mt Larcom are minor users of the RTT. Gladstone is a bit far to be viable for rail to Brisbane. Bundy is ~4hr and has a minimal air service along with Marybough. Running 3 x a day during the week from here would be attractive for users and the govt. The service frequency on weekends could then be increased to twice daily. Diesels could the haul to Rocky/Gracemere for servicing or simply close this depo down and do the lot in Brisbane.