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According to Kev Drinnen's notes, the original contract with Thailand in 1995 nominated SX sets 40, 46 and 47. 40 set had been out of traffic and maintenance service since August 1993 and was in Redbank yard minus all bogies.
The contract called for sets to be in good condition to operate satisfactorily in Thailand for 10 years with normal maintenance. Without bogies 40 set couldn't be run to Mayne Junction to install new batteries, etc., so a substitution of 44 set for 40 set was arranged.
The internal luggage racks in 1719 of 47 set had previously been removed in an ongoing modification by the Carriage Builders at Mayne so 1690 from 42 set was provided as a substitute.
Each set had 2 vans (SXV) and 5 cars (SX): 44 set 1698-1704 inclusive, 46 set 1712-1718 inclusive, and 47 set 1690 than 1720-1725 inclusive.
All bogies were regauged to one metre at Redbank Shops. The first set (46) had modified bogies fitted at Redbank and were sent by road on trucks to Hamilton Wharf for loading onto the MV Lindengracht. The other two sets had their bogies changed at Hamilton, not far from the wharf, and were then trucked to the MV Lindengracht.
46 set was loaded 24/03/95 and unloaded in Bangkok 4/05/95 after a 10 delay as no one knew about arranging priority berthing for the ship. Road testing was then conducted by QR staff accompanying the vehicles, and the staff returned to Brisbane for the other sets.
44 and 47 sets were loaded 28/06/95 and unloaded overnight 18/07/95 after a 3 day delay since priority berthing had been arranged. Again the QR staff accompanying the sets conducted road tests before departing Bangkok 22/08/95.
The QR team was Scott Graham, assistant to the Mechanical Engineer in charge of Mayne Junction workshops, Daryl Hibberd, Fitter in the Westinghouse section and in charge of the Breakdown Gang for all derailments, AC Shed Mayne, and Kev Drinnen, Leading Hand Electrical Fitter, AC Sheds Mayne.
As Kev recalls, the test run to and from Chiang Mai at speeds of up to 100 kph had the potential for problems.
"All tests were OK [but] I will admit to having some misgivings about the Chiang Mai trip as our sets had been used sparingly for a number of years with the coming of electrification, and sometimes only did short runs morning and afternoon. A round trip of 700 kms each way continuous to Chaing Mai could have brought out some problems."
Some of the changes required for operation on SRT included removing a plate to allow locos to connect to the SX cars, the closing of sliding electric and air-operated doors, cutting steps and vestibules in ends of cars to suit low platforms, and the removal of inter-car control cables (as there wouldn't be a Guard on the train to control same from the van).
This site developed and maintained for Queensland's rail heritage providers. Contents provided for non-commercial use only and are copyright © A C Lynn Zelmer or as indicated. last updated: 8/01/12 [lz: lynn @ zelmeroz.com].