The Return of the Railmotor

After nearly  a six weeks absence, the Savannahlander railmotor units were finally allowed home to their  depot in North Cairns on Saturday 1 May.  Since the landslide, there has been no traffic on the range apart from infrastructure work trains until 29 April, when a series of trial trains did a few runs to validate controls to the re-opening risk assessment. The Savannahlander had the honour of being the first revenue service to proceed down the range beyond Barron Falls.

During the closure, it was necessary to transfer passengers between Kuranda and Cairns by coach. It has  also caused the cancellation of our first charter for the year, because we could not move our charter unit out of Cairns to be placed at Mt Surprise in time for the trip. Re-opening of the line section came at a good time, as we had our biggest loading so far this year on board. For these lucky passengers, it was a bit of a bonus, because we really didn’t expect the track to be available for another week, so they were expecting another transfer from Kuranda by coach.

In the gallery, are a series of photos taken of the Savannahlander’s arrival and departure from Kuranda Station.  Stabled on the loop line is a KSR Shuttle train. The shuttles will operate for as much as the next couple of weeks between Kuranda and Barron falls, while they complete a safety process that will allow them to recommence full operations. Note that the images are moderately large, so you might need to scroll the page to read the captions on the bottom of each image.