Ill-fated 1980s Comeng proposal for metre-gauge XPT for Thailand

  Alphatron Station Master

Location: Wellington
An interesting side note to an otherwise unremarkable, and in parts inaccurate , video on the story of the NSW XPTs on the UK Motion History You Tube channel  was the description of the stillborn 1980s Comeng proposals to supply metre gauge XPTs to Thailand.  


It seems that the plan, which involved Alco powered tri-bo power cars and a Thai Government funded assemby plant in Bangkok, was killed off at the last minute by the Australian Federal government declining to provide financial guarantees to Comeng, with no reason being given.

It appears that the video has sourced material for this story from John Dunn's history of Comeng (, which also doesnt provide any background on why the Federal Government back out at the last minute.  Does anyone know any more on what happened?

Its a great pity that these plans didn't eventuate- both for Comeng and for the various metre/ Cape Gauge railways in the Asia/Pacific  region for which a narrow gauge XPT could have been very atractive.

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  barryc Chief Train Controller

Location: Waiting for a train to Canungra
I am a regular watcher of this Youtube channel and I must say this is not up to his usual standard. However, after seeing this post regarding the proposal for the metre gauge XPT I checked my collection of John Dunn's books and I am puzzled by one item.

Both the video (I think) and the above post in this thread refer to an Alco prime mover. Dunn's book only refers to getting some clearance from Alco but Wikipedia and my own recollection is that Alco closed many years before the 1980s and by then the ownership of the engine designs was held by Bombardier or Fairbanks Morse.

I assume there must have been some tie up with the LRC although I can't see a 16-251 powered train being very practical on the clunky metre gauge Thai railway.

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