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The Dreamworld Express is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway located at the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast, Queensland in Australia.

Dreamworld Express

HistoryEdit

The Dreamworld Express opened with Dreamworld on 15 December 1981 as the Cannonball Express. At the time the railway only featured a single stop in Main Street. A steam locomotive built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1917 was purchased and 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) of track was said to have been laid to develop the ride. This figure must relate to the quantity of rail used as reference to maps shows that the line is only about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) in length. The Baldwin locomotive was originally used during the First World War in France before being relocated to Queensland for use on the cane fields. At the time of its opening, the Cannonball Express was said to be the Longest privately owned railway in Australia. However, this was clearly incorrect. It is not even the longest privately owned passenger railway. A second steam locomotive, built by Perry Engineering in 1951, which had also seen service at a Queensland sugar mill, was purchased and put into service on the railway. Until the late 1990s the railway operated with both steam locomotives in peak periods. The railway then shifted to operations on a rotational basis, with one train being serviced while the other would operate normally. The two locomotives could each tow carriages to cater for up 160 passengers at a time. A set of covered cars were mostly used on the railway, with a set of uncovered carriages, now disposed of, being rarely used unless both trains were operating. A carriage with disabled access was always added to the end of at least one of the operating trains.

After Easter 2013, Dreamworld began operating the train only on weekends and school holidays. The park subsequently replaced the two steam locomotives with a diesel replacement. The diesel masquerades as a steam locomotive and was built by ride manufacturers C&S in Italy. The ride now operates as the Dreamworld Express.

On 26 January 2016 Dreamworld reintroduced the Baldwin locomotive as a one-off event. Subsequently it was announced that the steam locomotive would operate on the first Saturday of every month and on other occasions.