While the less stylish 1210 (later 1150) Class were obtained primarily for freight service, the streamlined 1200 Class spent their early careers on Queensland Railways’ long distance trains, including the famed ‘lander trains, which were launching at around the same time. Their ‘elite’ status in the Queensland Railways fleet was soon usurped by newer, more powerful locomotives, even though few if any could match the style of these machines – for many years they were the only full-width car-body locomotives in the whole Queensland Railways roster. The last had been withdrawn by 1976, but this story does have an epilogue – see 1225 below.
From the clear blue sky in 1984 came an initiative to rebuild a UK-built 1200 Class unit more or less into the configuration of one of the newer, locally-constructed 1250 Class. This despite the fact the 1200s had not operated for a few years and the 1250s themselves wouldn’t see out the decade. The unit chosen, 1208, was given a 1250 Class narrow hood body behind the cab, along with a the more powerful 12SVT engine, both courtesy of withdrawn 1250 Class units 1252 and 1253. Based in Toowoomba, 1225 seems to have been a success – if one that can’t easy be explained – hauling goods between Brisbane, Toowoomba, Warwick and Wallangarra. It was withdrawn in 1987 and sent toe ‘pasture’ at Redbank Workshops, and there it remained for 23 years until acquired by its present owners for restoration.
The 1250 Class – Queensland Railways first Australian-built English Electric (EE) class – represent an evolutionary step between the early imported QR EEs (the 1200s) and the larger numbers of locally-built EEs that would flow like water out of the Rocklea (Brisbane) plant into the 1970s. Their power and capabilities were a step up from the 1200s, and they featured a streamlined cab similar to if not a carbon copy of the earlier locomotives. However, they featured a narrow, hood style body – the only streamliners on this website to be so fitted (aside from the ‘Hybrid’ rebuild 1225, mentioned above). The full width cab/narrow hood body ended up becoming reasonably common on Australian railways in later years, but none carried a true streamlined cab as did the 1250s (and 1225!). Used extensively on lines radiating out of Townsville and Toowoomba, they too were quickly usurped by newer locomotives and the last in service were withdrawn at around the same time as ‘Hybrid’ 1225 in 1987.
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Last updated 19 May 2023