A description of the type of work Quartermasters did can be found here.
Wood and coal burning cars are discussed here. Below is a picture of a coal gas car in Sydney during World War II:
"had small capacity, was antiquated and in poor repair, and was chiefly useful in the rainy season when the dirt road, in some places only bush trail, was washed out.
"From Brisbane to Darwin, a distance of 2,500 miles, the railroads ran only as far as Mount Isa, a small settlement that reminded some Ordnance officers of a mining town in Arizona or Nevada. There, supplies were transshipped to Birdum by Australian truck companies. Assuming cargo space was available—not always a safe assumption—a shipment normally took about ten days....
"Beginning in March regulating stations were established along the routes to Darwin, but the length of time supplies were in transit and the probability of losses en route made necessary extra supplies to fill gaps in the supply line...."
Lida Mayo, The Ordinance Department: On Beachhead and Battlefront 50-51 (1991).