Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Electric multiple unit (Queensland Rail)

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Manufacturer  Walkers Limited
Replaced  SX carriages
Entered service  17 November 1979
Built at  Maryborough
Constructed  1979-86
Number built  264 carriages
Electric multiple unit (Queensland Rail)

The Electric Multiple Units are a class of electric multiple units manufactured by Walkers Limited, Maryborough for Queensland Rail between 1979 and 1986. They were the first EMUs in Queensland and remain in service with Queensland Rail City network


All units feature air-conditioning, power operated automatic doors, fabric covered padded seating, passenger information displays, emergency intercoms and a public address system.


In 1977 Walkers Limited, Maryborough were awarded a contract to build 13 EMUs with electrical equipment to be supplied by ASEA. These were the first EMUs in Queensland, entering revenue service when the first part of the Brisbane rail network was electrified between Ferny Grove and Darra in November 1979. Further orders saw the fleet total 88 units with the last delivered in December 1987.

Current Operation

EMUs are still in frequent revenue service around South East Queensland. They operate on all Queensland Rail suburban lines in either three or six carriage sets. EMU01-EMU04, EMU06-EMU59 and EMU80-EMU88 have driving cabs at both ends and can either operate as three or six car sets. EMU60-EMU79 have only a single driving cab, and as a result, they can operate only as part of a six car set. EMU05 was extensively damaged in 2001 and is no longer in service.

Although intended only for suburban operation they are occasionally found operating interurban services, mostly on the Nambour & Gympie North line. EMUs are interoperable with InterCity Express units to form hybrid sets.

The first 13 EMUs (1979 model) have a smooth roof. However Units 14-88 (1983 model) have a corrugated roof, some with a red pinstripe along the side.

Most EMUs constitute of a Driver Car (1) a Middle Car (2) and a Driver Trailer Car (3). EMUs 60-79 have a Driver Car (1) a Middle Car (2) and a Guard Car (4). The guard car does not have any driver controls.


Progressive upgrading has been performed on all Electric Multiple Units in service. Many of the upgrades are focused towards compliance with disability standards, although some are general improvements.

QR implemented standardisation measures on the EMUs and periodically refurbished the interiors and drive equipment.

General improvements

Due to the age of the trains some changes have been made to running equipment for operational or maintenance reasons.

All driving cabs have been modified to accept flat panels of glass on the sides rather than the original molded panels and bumpers to reduce damage in collisions, particularly with animals.

The units have also received redesigned front cab ends, with a sloped front lip which make illegal riding by standing on the front lip impossible. The units have also received bright yellow doors and front cab ends for increased visibility.

Dot-Matrix destination displays have replaced the original calico blinds.

Inside, the EMUs have received a new interior colour scheme with new carpets, seat fabric, and floors in the vestibule area. The small top section of the windows which could originally be opened, are now not openable, most likely for safety reasons.

Units 01-04 and 60-88 have a black band around the glass on the driver cab ends. These units are affectionately referred to as bandicoots. Units 60 and 67 for unknown reasons also have the black band on the guard cab end. The rest of the fleet have reverted back to the original flat yellow ends in their recent refurbishment.

Disability Compliance

The Queensland Rail EMUs were introduced before the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and originally featured very few of the disability standards introduced in the intervening years. As such significant alterations have been, or are planned to be, made to bring these legacy units into compliance.

The original seating arrangements have been altered surrounding the front-most and rear-most doors of the train as these areas are used as assisted boarding points. Some seats have been removed and others replaced with auto retract folding types to create more space for passengers in wheelchairs. Additional handrails surrounding the new wheelchair spaces have been added for safety. The seating arrangement is unchanged elsewhere inside the trains.

The majority of the units have been retrofitted with push-button operated doors, leaving EMU60-65 and 67-69 the only units still retaining the use of traditional handle operated doors. The replacement buttons feature integrated lighting and small speakers. Different flashes and beeps are emitted to alert passengers when the doors are activated or closing. The display that informs passengers that the doors have been released has also been changed to reflect the upgrade. Parts of the interior have all been painted bright yellow such as the doors and poles inside the train, for higher visibility and enhanced safety.

Dot-Matrix displays have been added alongside new automated voice announcement systems on all sets. These systems are used to address passengers with information such as the current and next station as well as alerting passengers where to transfer for other services. Many signs have been changed to include braille for sight impaired passengers.


On 23 March 1985 two EMUs collided head on near Trinder Park. A train driver and a passenger were killed, 31 others were injured. The units involved were EMU11 and EMU27, both were repaired and are still in service today.

On 14 March 1996 EMU28 derailed after hitting a freight train near the Mayne rail yards. EMU28 was later repaired and returned to service.

On 21 September 2001 a freight train derailed near Petrie and collided with two empty EMUs, EMU05 and EMU60. Two carriages from EMU05 and one carriage of EMU60 were badly damaged and scrapped. The remaining three carriages were combined and returned to service as EMU60. EMU carriages EM160, 205 and 305, were not repairable and EMU05 was the first set to be withdrawn from service. The current EMU60 is made out of carriages EM105, 260 and 460.


After nearly 40 years in service, all remaining 87 units, are soon being retired beginning with removal of sets 60-79, proceeded by the rest of the fleet. The EMUs are due to be replaced by the New Generation Rollingstock by 2018. Removal was set to begin June 2016. However, given the delivery of these new trains were delayed due to issues with the signalling system on the Redcliffe Peninsula railway line, and some teething problems and faults identified with the new units themselves, the removal of the EMUs won't start until at least early 2017.


Electric multiple unit (Queensland Rail) Wikipedia