I loved the Cairns Kuranda Steam train and have been more than once. The views are beautiful and it is part of the history and an era that is long gone. The train itself is beautiful and well-maintained and the views are also interesting and give you insight into the local environment in a relaxing way. You don't need to be a rail enthusiast to enjoy this trip.
My partner and I did the Kuranda Scenic Rail departing from Cairns the experience was wonderful and the views were stunning, it was a good historical experience as well. The staff were lovely and the train itself and also the train stations at either end of the line were both very clean and well maintained. Bookings are a must for the train, but I would recommend going down via the Sky Rail. It was all an amazing experience.
A must do item on any tourist list. We caught the train down from Kuranda to Cairns, after getting the skyrail up to Kuranda. The views are amazing, and the history on how the railway was made was very interesting. We were lucky in that the train was empty, so we had easy access to the windows. However if it were full, I don't think the trip would of been as enjoyable, as the seats are 3 deep on each side, and the view is from one side of the train (because your going down a mountain) So I would recommend paying a bit extra and going first class if it were a busy day.