Help by Rail

Queensland State Archives posted a photo:

A Rail Ambulance is a vehicle used for medical transportation services on railway lines. The first rail ambulance in Queensland, Australia was introduced in 1918, with the last withdrawn from service around 1990. It was usually a specially equipped petrol engined rail inspection trolley, funded by a local community, with a railway employee volunteering to drive it when necessary.

Queensland is a vast, relatively unpopulated area, where providing services to remote communities in a cost effective way has been a continual challenge. Railways were built from 1865, and in many areas provided the major form of transport until a significant road improvement program was commenced by the Queensland government from the 1960s.

It was in this context that the mining community of Blair Athol introduced the first rail ambulance in 1918, in order to enable injured people to be transported to the nearest hospital at Clermont.

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