TILT TIME: Train driver Jonathon Limpus has been in the railway industry for 45 years and driving the Tilt Train for all of its 20 years in service.
TILT TIME: Train driver Jonathon Limpus has been in the railway industry for 45 years and driving the Tilt Train for all of its 20 years in service. Michelle Gately

Iconic Tilt Train celebrates 20 years on the rails

WHEN Jonathon Limpus grew up in Charleville, there wasn't much on offer career-wise and the railway was an obvious choice.

Next April, Mr Limpus will celebrate 45 years in the industry where he started as a cleaner and eventually become a train driver.

At 18, Mr Limpus was too young to be a driver so started cleaning locomotives at Roma before taking exams to be a fire fighter.

As soon as he turned 21, Mr Limpus applied to be a train driver and he's been steering his career that way ever since.

In April, he'll celebrate 45 years with the railway.

"It's a great job," he said.

"It takes a bit of getting used to the shift work."

 

Train driver Jonathon Limpus has been in the railway industry for 45 years and driving the Tilt Train for all of its 20 years in service.
Train driver Jonathon Limpus has been in the railway industry for 45 years and driving the Tilt Train for all of its 20 years in service. Michelle Gately

Mr Limpus is now based in Bundaberg and drives Queensland's signature Tilt Train up and down the coast.

The Tilt Train today celebrates its 20th anniversary, marking two decades since the ground-breaking Japanese design was launched between Brisbane and Rockhampton.

Mr Limpus said it was a good train to drive, with speeds to "pin the ears back" of up to 160km/h.

He joked the hardest thing was driving a car after a shift, where it was hard not to ignore the speedometer and put the foot down again.

The train also holds the Australian record for the fastest train, clocking up 210km/h during a test run.

It's estimated that for the Rockhampton area alone, the Tilt Train fleet has injected upwards of $4 million a year into the local economy.



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