Walkers/Adtranz InterCity Express (ICE)
QR introduced the ICE sets in 1988, for use on the North Coast Line between Brisbane and Rockhampton a distance of approx. 640km. The ICE reduced the journey time by five hours when it was first introduced.
The train can be configured to run with 4 to 6 cars. Two power pairs can be accompanied by either one or two trailers cars. A power pair consists of two power cars with ABB thyristor drive equipment, one of which includes the driver’s cab. They can also be found multipled to EMUs forming a Hybrid unit (ICE Power pair + 3 car EMU), they usually do this only for the Gympie North services.
The stainless steel vehicles are based on the EMUs delivered for the Citytrain service. ABB supplied the electrical equipment and the company’s local partner, Walkers, manufactured the mechanical parts, partly to ABB’s design.
The ICE units have been displaced from their intended duty by the Tilt Train in 1998. With the introduction of the new Cairns Tilt Trains the ICE was eventually surplus to requirements on the Central Qld services and the Spirit of Capricorn service was ran for the last time on 24th May 2003. The ICE can now be found running Caboolture-Nambour shuttles, Cooroy service and Gympie North services.
During 2003 and 2004 the ICE units have been involved in a refurbishment program to upgrade the units to current standards, including visibility lights, yellow saloon doors, upgraded toilets, and doors. The refurbishment program is being undertaken by Walkers/EDI at Maryborough … their original birthplace.
And again in 2005, the ICE Power Pairs headed back to their birthplace to receive angled window frames to replace the curved side windows