‘Motorail’ is a service provided on a handful of long distance trains in Australia, allowing passengers to bring their car along for the ride. So how do they get the cars on and off the train?
Great Southern Rail
Great Southern Rail offers a motorail service on all three of their services – Indian Pacific, The Ghan, and The Overland.
Their wagons have enough room to fit eight small cars aboard, split across two decks.
Loading and unloading cars takes a lot of messing around at each end – the wagons needs to be uncoupled from the rest of the train.
Then pushed up against the unloading ramp.
The car is then driven down the ramp…
And away for the owner to pick up.
Queensland Rail also offers motorail service on their long distance locomotive-hauled services. However their car carrying wagons blend into the rest of the train.
Each wagon has a pair of doors on the side. The top ‘gull wing’ door opens upwards.
While the lower door moves downwards to form a ramp.
With the wagon parked right beside the passenger platform, there is no need for any shunting moves.
Allowing cars to be driven straight off the train.
Note that the above Queensland Rail example is from the Sunlander service – come December 31, 2014 the sleeping train service will be replaced by the slightly faster Tilt Train, which has aircraft style lie-flat beds.