The Workshops rail museum curator David Mewes shows off the 22-horsepower petrol Panhard-Levassor that will be visiting Emerald on its way to Normanton.
The Workshops rail museum curator David Mewes shows off the 22-horsepower petrol Panhard-Levassor that will be visiting Emerald on its way to Normanton.

She's 93 and still motoring

THIS old blue girl may have clocked up more than her fair share of hard miles in her time but she’s not finished yet.

A massive 2200km journey, including a stopover in Emerald, awaits the Ipswich-built Panhard-Levassor railmotor which despite being more than 93 years old, was still looking spectacular before departing for Normanton, in Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria today.

The historical train will play a starring role in Normanton’s 120th anniversary celebrations of the Gulflander rail service.

The 22 horsepower petrol Panhard-Levassor, originally designed as a conventional car engine, was converted into a railmotor in Ipswich in 1918.

The Workshops rail museum curator David Mewes said the hardy little engine would also tow three tonnes of freight for the four-hour display trip.

The little railmotor provided most of the line’s services between 1923 and 1929. It was returned to Ipswich’s Redbank workshops in 1968, where it stayed until 1992.

It was left in storage until 2002, when it was put on display at The Workshops in North Ipswich.

North Queensland Heavy Haulage driver Allan Turner has only four days to cover the massive journey to the Gulf.

“I’m hoping to do it in two-and-a-half days,” Mr Turner said.


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