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The Sydney Mail train by Greg Hallam

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115 William St

115 William Street

Brisbane City, QLD 4000

Australia

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The Sydney Mail train was the premier Queensland Railways’ service of the later nineteenth and into the 1920s. Wallan-garra (to give it its post 1908 QGR spelling) marked the point where two differing track gauges of 4 ft 8½ inches (1435mm) for New South Wales, and 3ft 6 inches (1067mm) for Queensland met. Passengers would change trains here to complete their journey in either direction. The Sydney Mail was the main inter colonial/interstate link until the advent of the “Brisbane Limited”. A new more direct route via northern New South Wales and the Richmond Gap into Queensland did not involve a change of trains at a border station – and post 1930 the Sydney Mail lost much of the ‘glamour’ associated with the ‘Mail train’ service. In later years the train became known as the Wallan-garra mail, indicating the decline of the importance of the train. The steam haulage of the Wallan-garra Mail (26 Up) ceased on 5 February 1967, with B18¼ 906 hauling the train from Warwick-Wallan-garra. The last Sydney Mail (26 Up) ran on 29 January 1972, and the Brisbane-Wallan-garra service was withdrawn as of 1 February 1972.

Greg Hallam is member of the Professional Historians Association of Queensland and a member of the RHSQ. Greg has been active in the cultural heritage field in Queensland for nearly 25 years and is employed as a Historian by Queensland Rail daily documenting, interpreting and assisting with reports, research, displays, exhibitions and many inquiries regarding the story of the railways in Queensland – something he has enjoyed doing for nearly 20 years.

Participation at Wednedsay Talk is free, lunch afterwards $5.

(Credit:State Library Queensland: Sydney Mail Train on Swanson Bridge, 1906)

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115 William St

115 William Street

Brisbane City, QLD 4000

Australia

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