Points of Interest

Muntapa Rail Tunnel, Qld

The Muntapa Rail Tunnel opened in 1913 and still is Queensland’s longest straight railway tunnel at a length of 287 metres. It is the only tunnel in Queensland, Australia that crosses between the inland and coastal sides of the Great Dividing Range. The tunnel is now listed on the Queensland Heritage Register and is important in demonstrating an aspect of Queensland’s history. Muntapa Rail Tunnel is located about 15 km south of the little town of Cooyar, and 210 km from Brisbane. A colony of around 8,000 bent winged bats now call Muntapa Rail Tunnel their home. 

Muntapa Rail Tunnel was located on a branch, or secondary rail line which were used to connect rural communities with the main rail routes. Transport of timber peaked in 1915, and from this same year, coal also bean to be railed from the area of Acland. However, from 1916, the branch line struggled to remain profitable, then from 1926 road transport was more commonly used. Petrol rationing during WWII forced greater use of the rail network. In May 1964 the line beyond Acland was closed. The Acland to Oakey section was kept open to support the operation of coal mines at Acland. The main customer for coal was Queensland Rail. In the late 1960s QR completed conversion of their locomotive fleet to diesel and only one of the mines remained open. In 1969 the Oakey to Acland section of rail was also closed.

You can view the Muntapa Rail Tunnel video on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/RoW0UjDUZzU

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