|Area||Main Street, ABC Kids World, Corroboree, Gold Rush Country|
|Opening date||15 December 1981|
|Attraction type||4-6-0 steam outline diesel hydrostatic locomotive|
|Length||1,500 m (4,900 ft)|
|Speed||8 km/h (5.0 mph)|
|Capacity||320 riders per hour|
|Duration||20 minutes (full circuit)|
|Riders per train||72|
|Previous name||Cannonball Express|
The Dreamworld Express opened with Dreamworld on 15 December 1981, as the Cannonball Express. At the time, the railway only featured a single stop in Main Street. A steam locomotive built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1917 was purchased and 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) of track was said to have been laid to develop the ride. This figure must relate to the quantity of rail used as reference to maps show that the line is only about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) in length. The Baldwin locomotive was originally used during the First World War in France before being relocated to Queensland for use on the cane fields. At the time of its opening, the Cannonball Express was said to be the Longest privately owned railway in Australia. However, this was clearly incorrect. It is not even the longest privately owned passenger railway. A second steam locomotive, built by Perry Engineering in 1951, which had also seen service at a Queensland sugar mill, was purchased and put into service on the railway. Until the late 1990s, the railway operated with both steam locomotives in peak periods. The railway then shifted to operations on a rotational basis, with one train being serviced while the other would operate normally. The two locomotives could each tow carriages to cater for up to 160 passengers at a time. A set of covered cars were mostly used on the railway, with a set of uncovered carriages, now disposed of, being rarely used unless both trains were operating. A carriage with disabled access was always added to the end of at least one of the operating trains.
After Easter 2013, Dreamworld began operating the train only on weekends and school holidays. The park subsequently replaced the two steam locomotives with a diesel replacement. The diesel masquerades as a steam locomotive and was built by ride manufacturers C&S in Italy. The ride now operates as the Dreamworld Express.
On 26 January 2016, Dreamworld reintroduced the Baldwin locomotive as a one-off event. Subsequently, it was announced that the steam locomotive would operate on the first Saturday of every month and on other occasions.
During late 2020 and 2021, the Dreamworld Express was temporarily closed for a re-routing of the tracks in order to make way for Dreamworld’s new Steel Taipan roller coaster. Tracks near The Giant Drop and Rocky Hollow Station and the train sheds were removed due to the close proximity to Steel Taipan's construction site. The ride was initially marked as temporarily closed due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  On 17 July 2021, Dreamworld announced $1,000,000 refurbishment on the Dreamworld Express. The refurbishment included the acquisition of new custom train carriages built by a world-class train manufacturer. which feature fold-up seating to allow for better wheelchair and pram accessibility.
The ride reopened on 1 July 2022 and now runs in the opposite direction.
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Route and stations
Since reopening in July 2022, the railway has been modified with a shorter layout and a reversed (clockwise) travel direction. Currently, only two of the original four stations are inactive. The remaining stations have been modified to include raised platforms for enhanced accessibility.
There are four stations located throughout the park, however, only two stations are currently active. The first is Central Park Station located at the end of Main Street at the bottom of the hill. The railway then crosses between Steel Taipan, Motocoaster and The Giant Drop before passing the former Rocky Hollow Station located near the former Rocky Hollow Log Ride in Gold Rush Country. The railway then travels alongside the Murrissippi River and passes part of the Dreamworld Corroboree area before arriving at Corroboree Station with entry and exit via Prestos Training Cafe and Bunya Trading Gift Shop. The train then passes the rest of the Dreamworld Corroboree area and the Dreamworld Woolshed before passing a set of boom gates. The train then passes the former Billabong Station which is located between the Corroboree and ABC Kids World, next to the Billabong Buffet Restaurant. The train then navigates between Tiger Island, ABC Kids World and the former building for the Tower of Terror II before passing through another set of boom gates and arriving back at Central Park Station.
This railway is slightly based on the Disneyland Railroad, with the Baldwin locomotive resembling the #4 Ernest S. Marsh locomotive (appropriate enough, it also uses #4), the cars designed with the Excursion III design, and there being four station stops.
Prior to the 2021 refurbishment, the railway travelled in an anti-clockwise direction, servicing four stations (Central Park, Billabong, Corroboree and Rocky Hollow).
From Rocky Hollow Station, the track passed around the former location of the Blue Lagoon water park as well as Dreamworld Studios where Big Brother Australia was filmed. It then returned to Central Park Station in Main Street after passing the railway maintenance sheds.
The route also previously featured a tunnel and waterfall near the Billabong Station. Remnants of the tunnel are still in-situ and include indigenous-themed artwork.
At times, the ride also included various simulated hold-ups, in which comedic bushranger characters would attempt to hijack and rob the train before being arrested and detained by police.
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A second steam locomotive, built by Perry Engineering in 1951, which had also seen service at a Queensland sugar mill, was purchased and put into service on the railway. Until the late 1990s, the railway operated with both steam locomotives in peak periods. The railway then shifted to operations on a rotational basis, with one train being serviced while the other would operate normally.
The two locomotives could each tow carriages to cater for up to 160 passengers at a time. A set of covered cars were mostly used on the railway, with a set of uncovered carriages, now disposed of, being rarely used unless both trains were operating. A carriage with disabled access was always added to the end of at least one of the operating trains.
The steam locomotives were replaced with a diesel replica in 2013. The Perry Locomotive was relocated to the Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Society (ANGRMS) at Woodford, Queensland, where it remains under restoration. The Baldwin locomotive was retained by Dreamworld and is currently on display outside Central Park Station.
New passenger carriages with accessible seating were introduced in July 2022, following the refurbishment of the ride.
|Class||Image||Type||Number in service||Wheel arrangements||Manufacturer||Carriages||Built||Notes|
|C&S Custom||Diesel Locomotive||1||4-6-0||C&S||—||2013|
|Baldwin Class 10-12-D||Steam Locomotive||—||4-6-0||Baldwin Locomotive Works||—||1917||Retired from service in 2013. Preserved outside Central Park Station.|
|Perry Engineering||Steam Locomotive||—||0-6-2T||Perry Engineering||—||1951||Retired from service in 2013. Obtained in 2014 by Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Society (ANGRMS) in Woodford, Queensland. Currently under restoration.|
|Severn Lamb custom||Passenger Carriage||3||Unknown||Severn Lamb||3||2021|
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The Gold Coaster
Main Street (Dreamworld)
Ocean Parade (Dreamworld)
Gold Rush Country
Rocky Hollow (Dreamworld)
ABC Kids World
List of former Dreamworld attractions
Thunder River Rapids Ride
Rocky Hollow Log Ride
BuzzSaw (roller coaster)
Vintage Car Adventure
History of Dreamworld
- Two stations are currently inactive.
- Station currently not in use.
- Station currently not in use.
- "Surviving Steam Locomotives in Queensland". SteamLocomotive.com.
- "Dreamworld Railway". Dreamworld. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- "Dreamworld History" (PDF). Dreamworld. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- "The Gold Coast finds a reply to Disneyland". The Age. 19 April 1982. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Dreamworld Railway (Dreamworld)". Parkz. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Ride & Attraction Maintenance". Dreamworld. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Parkz (7 October 2013). "Dreamworld, October 2013". Parkz. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- "Dreamworld Express". Dreamworld. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- Richard Wilson (27 January 2016). "Dreamworld's historic 'Baldwin' steam train returns to service". Parkz. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- Richard Wilson (28 January 2016). "Steam train back for monthly outings at Dreamworld". Parkz. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- Richard Wilson (28 November 2019). "The Parkz Update: Steel Taipan: Dreamworld's forthcoming roller coaster gets a name as construction moves forward". Parkz. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- "Park Updates". Dreamworld. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
- "Park Updates". Dreamworld. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
- "Park Map" (PDF). Dreamworld. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
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- Amusement rides introduced in 1981
- Amusement rides manufactured by C&S
- Articles with short description
- Coordinates on Wikidata
- Dreamworld (Australia)
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- Operating amusement attractions
- Railways of amusement parks in Australia
- Short description matches Wikidata
- Use Australian English from June 2020
- Use dmy dates from July 2020
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