The Sunlander will retire after a long journey

Queensland Rail’s Sunlander
Queensland Rail’s Sunlander Contributed

QUEENSLAND'S iconic train - the Sunlander - will visit the Fraser Coast region twice before going off the rails for good.

The 61-year-old locomotive will stop in Maryborough and Howard on December 28 and 31 as it steams towards retirement.

The Sunlander will be replaced by the Spirit of Queensland after carrying more than 3.5 million passengers along the route from Brisbane to Cairns.

Thousands of train lovers are expected to farewell the old girl on the final legs of her farewell journeys, which will include stops in Mackay, Rockhampton, Mt Larcom, Gladstone, Miriam Vale, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast.

Queensland Rail travel and tourist executive general manager Martin Ryan said the Sunlander's last hoorah would mark a new era in long-distance rail travel with the third Spirit of Queensland Tilt Train taking to the tracks.

The Spirit can travel at 160kmh.

"The Spirit of Queensland is about people celebrating this fantastic state of ours while enjoying the great service onboard," Mr Ryan said.

"With the introduction of the Spirit of Queensland to our fleet we have increased long-distance services from four to five journeys per week between Cairns and Brisbane.

"This is part of our commitment to connect communities, make regional rail travel more accessible, and support tourism in regional Queensland."

The Spirit of Queensland has seats that turn into beds and state-of-the-art personal entertainment systems with on-demand movies and music and power points and USB ports.

Meals are made from food sourced within 100km of the track.

Queensland Rail is also urging travellers to share their Sunlander memories on Twitter with #FarewelltheSunlander.


The Sunlander's final stops on the Fraser Coast:

Brisbane to Cairns - December 28:

(Station, arrives, departs):

Brisbane - Roma Street, leaves at 9.20am;

Maryborough West, 3.22pm, 3.27pm;

Howard, 3.46pm, 3.46pm.

Cairns to Brisbane - December 31:

Cairns, leaves at 7.15am;

Howard, 7.23am, 7.23am;

Maryborough West, 7.42am, 7.47am.

CBD Flood Project set to be completed early 2017

Granville Bridge consumed by floodwaters.

works along Adelaide St are expected to be completed by mid-November

Why would you choose a sleep in over waking up early?

I think one of the advantages of getting up early is listening to the birds and watching the sunrise over a brand new day.

I think the best time of the day is first thing in the morning.

Council begins consultation over skate park development

The Fraser Coast Regional Council has begun community consultation with local youth groups on the expansion of the Maryborough Skate Park facility in Anzac Park.

The council held an onsite meeting with a number of young people

Local Partners

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Miranda Kerr to wed next year

Supermodel Miranda Kerr

Supermodel and Snapchat founder to wed

What's on the small screen this week

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

TWO big reality shows wrap up this week while

Brad Pitt won't file legal response to divorce petition

Brad reportedly refused to send off the paperwork

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track