|Key people||Glen Dawe CEO
Michael Klug Chairman
|Services||railway network access, logistics, suburban, long-distance|
|Revenue||$1,932 m (2011/12)|
|Operating income||$692m (2011/12)|
Queensland Rail Transit Authority, also known as QR, is a railway operator in the state of Queensland, Australia. Owned by the Queensland Government, Queensland Rail operates suburban and long-distance passenger services. It also owns and maintains approximately 8,000 kilometres of track.
The colony of Queensland separated from New South Wales in 1859, and the new government was keen to facilitate development and immigration. Improved transport to the fertile Darling Downs region situated west of Toowoomba was seen as a priority. As adequate river transport was already established between the capital Brisbane and the then separate settlement of Ipswich, the railway commenced from the latter locality and the initial section, built over relatively flat, easy country opened to Bigge’s Camp, at the eastern base of the Little Liverpool Range, on 31 July 1865. Called the Main Line, the only significant engineering work on that section was the bridge over the Bremer River to North Ipswich.
Tunneling excavation through the Little Liverpool Range delayed the opening of the next section to Gatton by 10 months, but the line was opened to Toowoomba in 1867, the ascent of the Main Range being the reason for the adoption of narrow gauge.
Built by the Queensland government to the unusual (for the time) gauge of 3’6” (1.067m), the line largely followed the alignment surveyed by a private company, the Moreton Bay Tramway Company, which had proposed to build a standard gauge horse-drawn tramway but had been unable to raise funds to do so beyond an initial start on earthworks.
The adoption of narrow gauge was controversial at the time, and was largely predicated by the government’s desire for the fastest possible construction timeframe at least cost. This resulted in adoption of sharper curves and a lower axle load than was considered possible using standard gauge, and an assessment at the time put the cost of a narrow gauge line from Ipswich to Toowoomba at 25% of the cost of a standard gauge line. In a colony with a non-indigenous population of ~30,000 when the decision was made, it is understandable.
Queensland Rail went on to develop an extensive network of railways to facilitate the economic and social development of the State, totaling ~10,500km at its maximum in 1932.
Changing transport patterns resulted in the closure of many development branch lines from 1948 onwards, but at the same time the main lines were upgraded to provide contemporary services, and from the 1970s an extensive network of new lines was developed, particularly to service export coal mines.
Commencing in 1979 the Brisbane suburban network was electrified and modernised, with the coal network and the Brisbane-Rockhampton section of the North Coast line being similarly upgraded and electrified in the mid to late 1980s.
In September 1999 Queensland Rail was rebranded as QR. In March 2002 Queensland Rail purchased Northern Rivers Railroad and rebranded it Interail, fulfilling a long held ambition of to expand beyond its state borders.
In March 2003 Queensland Rail entered the Hunter Valley coal market when Interail commenced a coal haulage contract from Duralie Colliery to Stratford Mine. Another coal contract was won in late 2003 for the haulage of coal from Newstan Colliery, Fassifern to Vales Point Power Station. In 2004 Interail began running Brisbane to Melbourne and Sydney to Melbourne intermodal services. In June 2005 Queensland Rail acquired the CRT Group.
In June 2009 the Queensland Government announced the privatisation of Queensland Rail’s freight business. This resulted in Queensland Rail's freight assets being transferred to QR National (now Aurizon) from 1 July 2010.
Queensland Rail, in partnership with TransLink, provides Urban and Interurban rail and bus services throughout South East Queensland. These rail services operate on eleven rail lines including Beenleigh, Caboolture, Cleveland, Doomben, Exhibition, Ferny Grove, Gold Coast, Gympie North, Ipswich, Rosewood and Shorncliffe lines. Queensland Rail provides train services on these lines with its rolling stock of electric railcars, which includes the Electric Multiple Units (EMU), the Suburban Multiple Units (SMU), the Interurban Multiple Units (IMU) and the InterCity Express (ICE).
Due to low patronage, lines such as the Pinkenba line have been closed and replaced by bus services known as a RailBus. During some times of the day trains on the Nambour line and Doomben line are also replaced by the RailBus.
Queensland Rail aims to operate 99.75% of peak services and to have 94.5% of those services running no longer than four minutes late.
Long Distance Trains
Queensland Rail provides long range passenger rail services throughout Queensland. Its flagships are the electric and diesel Tilt Trains, from Brisbane to Rockhampton and Cairns respectively. Queensland Rail also operates diesel-locomotive-hauled services between Brisbane and Cairns as The Sunlander, Brisbane to Longreach as Spirit of the Outback, Townsville to Mount Isa as The Inlander and Brisbane to Charleville as The Westlander.
Traveltrain's annual patronage is approximately 969,000. Whilst proportionately smaller than other regional rail services, relative to population, this is largely as Traveltrain caters to a touring market more so than other operators. In 2007–08, the subsidy for the Brisbane-Cairns route was $130 million, or $900 per passenger. In 2001–02 it was $270.
|Class||Image||Type||Top speed (km/h)||Built||Number||Routes operated||Notes|
|EMU||Electric multiple unit||100||1979–1987||87||Citytrain network|
|SMU200||Electric multiple unit||100||1994–1995||12||Citytrain network|
|SMU220||Electric multiple unit||100||1999–2001||30||Citytrain network|
|SMU260||Electric multiple unit||130||2008–2011||35||Citytrain network|
|ICE||Electric multiple unit||120||1988–1989||8||Nambour and Gympie North line|
|IMU100||Electric multiple unit||140||1996–1997||10||Citytrain network|
|IMU120||Electric multiple unit||140||2001–2002||4||Citytrain network|
|IMU160||Electric multiple unit||130||2004–2011||28||Citytrain network|
|Electric Tilt Train||Tilting electric multiple unit||160||1998||2||North Coast line|
|Diesel Tilt Train||Tilting diesel multiple unit||160||2003||2 + 1 under construction||North Coast line|
|Tourist train fleet|
|DL class||Diesel locomotive||50||1961||1||DL4 backup for the Gulflander|
|1720 class||Diesel locomotive||100||1966–1970||5||Kuranda Scenic Railway|
|45 hp rail motor||Railmotor||40||1931||1||Based at Normanton, used for charters.|
|102 hp rail motor||Railmotor||50||1950||1||Gulflander|
|1800 class||Railmotor (trailers)||50||1952–1954||2||Gulflander|
|2000 class||Railmotor||80||1956–1971||3||Savannahlander||Operated by private contractor|
|A10 class||Steam locomotive||40||1865–1866||1||No. 6 operational. Australia's oldest operational steam locomotive.|
|PB15 class||Steam locomotive||65||1899–1926||1||No. 732 being overhauled.|
|AC16 class||Steam locomotive||80||1943||1||No. 221A operational. USATC S118 Class.|
|C17 class||Steam locomotive||80||1920–1953||2||No. 974 operational. No. 1000 being restored to working order.|
|DD17 class||Steam locomotive||80||1948–1952||1||No. 1051 operational.|
|BB18¼ class||Steam locomotive||80||1950–1958||2||Nos. 1079 and 1089 operational. No. 1089 is currently being used with 1079's tender.|
|Beyer-Garratt||Steam locomotive||80||1950–1951||1||No. 1009 stored pending overhaul|
|DL class||Diesel locomotive||50||1939||1||On display at the Workshops Rail Museum.|
|DH class||Diesel locomotive||50||1966||2||DH2 operational. DH71 stored.|
|1150 class||Diesel locomotive||80||1952||1||1159 stored pending restoration|
|1170 class||Diesel locomotive||80||1956||1||1170 stored pending restoration|
|1250 class||Diesel locomotive||80||1959||1||1262 on display at Workshops Rail Museum.|
|1270 class||Diesel locomotive||80||1964||2||1270 stored pending restoration. 1281 on display at Workshops Rail Museum.|
|1400 class||Diesel locomotive||80||1955||1||1407 stored pending restoration.|
|1450 class||Diesel locomotive||80||1957||3||1450, 1455 and 1459 stored pending restoration.|
|1460 class||Diesel locomotive||80||1964||1||1461 stored pending restoration.|
|1600 class||Diesel locomotive||80||1962||1||1603 stored pending restoration|
|1620 class||Diesel locomotive||80||1967||1||1620 operational|
|1900 class||Railmotor||80||1956||1||1901 operational, also used as an inspection vehicle.|
|2000 class||Railmotor||80||1956–1971||8||2034, 2036 and 2057 operational, also used as inspection vehicles.
2004, 2005, 2024, 2031 and 2032 stored.
- Kerr, J. 'Triumph of Narrow Gauge', Boolarong Publications 1990
- "Queensland Rail Becomes QR and Looks Beyond its Borders" Railway Digest November 1999 page 9
- "QR moves into NSW with Northern Rivers Railroad buy" Rail Express.com.au 12 March 2002
- "QR National push" WorldCargo News March 2002
- Queensland Rail sorts logistics for acquisition The Age 25 June 2005
- Queensland asset sales to reap $15 billion Brisbane Times 2 June 2009
- Premier announces QR Privatisation Plan Railway Gazette International 4 June 2009
- "Peak On-Time Results". Queensland Rail. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
- Queensland Rail (2006). 2005/06 Queensland Rail Annual Report (PDF).
- Wardill, Steven (26 December 2008). "$130m subsidy for Brisbane-Cairns Traveltrain". The Courier-Mail.
- Patrick Lion (28 December 2008). "$900-a-ticket subsidy for tilt train to remain, says Anna Bligh". The Courier Mail.
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