The Capricornian (Retired)

The Capricornian (Retired)

The Capricornian was a passenger train that operated in Queensland Australia between 1970 and 1993. It travelled on the North Coast line between Brisbane and Rockhampton.

The Capricornian History

When the Sunlander air-conditioned express train to Cairns was introduced in 1953, the Rockhampton Mail retained its wooden carriages, and a surcharge and booking restrictions deterred Rockhampton bound travelers from using the air-conditioned services. Following a rearrangement of the Sunlander consists and the construction of further air-conditioned cars, the Capricornian replaced the Rockhampton Mail in 1970, taking 14.25 hours for the overnight trip and running 5 times per week.

By 1988 the transit time was 13 hours 55 minutes, reduced to 12 hours 35 minutes following the extensive upgrading of the North Coast line (NCL) in 1989. 

However, the pending electrification of the NCL led to an announcement that the Capricornian would be eliminated once the Spirit of Capricorn service was introduced. Protests about the loss of the overnight sleeper service resulted in retention of the train on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights.

It was replaced by the Spirit of the Outback in 1993, which runs from Brisbane to Longreach, largely to cater for the 'rail cruising' tourism market.


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