Queensland iconic train, Sunlander, to retire after 60 years

Filed under Queensland
Robyn Williams and Jennifer Purse will ring in the new year aboard the Sunlander during its final journey from Brisbane to Cairns and back. (ABC News: Patrick Williams)

Queensland’s Sunlander train will start the final run of its 61-year history from Brisbane on Sunday.

The train will depart for Cairns from Brisbane’s Roma Street station on its 36-hour journey.

It is estimated over 3.5 million people have travelled on the Sunlander since the service began in 1953.

Assistant Minister for Public Transport Steve Minnikin said the Sunlander had a special place in the hearts of travellers from across the country and overseas.

“There have been couples who have spent their honeymoon on the train more than 50 years ago and people who have grown up on the train travelling up and down the coast to see their families,” Mr Minnikin said.

Travellers on the train’s final journey will celebrate New Year’s Eve on board.

The Sunlander is being replaced by a new fleet, with the third and final Spirit of Queensland train to complete the $200 million investment.

The new trains cut the journey by several hours and include on-demand movies and music.

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