McKeen Motor Car Company - Unusual McKeen Products - Queensland Railways Cars

Queensland Railways Cars

In 1911, the Queensland Railways of the state of Queensland, Australia ordered a total of five McKeen cars which were delivered in May, 1913. These were to the QR gauge of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm), and were the only narrow gauge McKeen cars. They were issued running numbers 1 through 5.

Like the Victorian Railways cars, the cars were fitted with the more rounded nose and with buffers; however, the typical McKeen dropped center door was retained to permit easy passenger access without a raised platform. The cars, unlike most, had the same size of wheels on both axles of the lead truck and a chain drive linking them, making all 4 wheels driven.

These cars were approximately 19 metres (62 ft) long and originally seated 75; this was soon reduced to 69 by dividing the car into a non-smoking section (seating 55) and a smoking section (seating 14). The five cars were based at Woolloongabba for most of their lives, and handled services to the Brisbane suburbs of Corinda and Sunnybank as well as between Manly and Cleveland.

The cars proved no more reliable in Queensland than elsewhere; by 1920 car No.1 was out of service and cars Nos. 2 and 5 were modified as Tourist and Day Inspection cars, with luxury accommodations for 32 passengers. They were still expensive to run, at an estimated double the running costs of a steam-hauled train; the Great Depression finished them off, and the five cars were withdrawn between 1929 and 1931 and scrapped at QR's Ipswich shops.

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