Coal Trains in Queensland

When you think of coal trains in Queensland it’s almost guaranteed that you’re going to be thinking of high-horsepower locos … distributed power … and long trains of high-capacity hoppers snaking through central Queensland heading for the ports of Gladstone or Mackay.

And that’s pretty much the way it is … in central Queensland. But these are not the only coal trains in Queensland. On the line that stretches inland from Brisbane coal also dominate but the coal trains in this part of Queensland are quite different.

Unfortunately the big hoppers used on the system in central Queensland won’t fit the smaller loading gauge for the line west of Brisbane and nor will the locos used in central Queensland so you can forget long trains, high-horsepower units and distributed power.

The coal trains that service the mines west of Toowoomba are shorter, use older, lower-capacity hoppers and fewer, lower-powered locos too. In fact these trains have just two 2300 class diesels on the front.

Locos in the 2300 class are rebuilds of two earlier classes. They feature a turbo-charged EMD 12-645E3C engine that produces 1655kW/2250HP1.

Here are three videos that feature the arrival, loading and departure of a coal train at one of the loading points west of Toowoomba.

1. Info from