COVID-19 response sees temporary reduction in Queensland long-haul travel

Long haul train and coach services within Queensland will be temporarily reduced as part of wider efforts to contain COVID-19.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said rural and regional communities would continue to have access to transport for essential travel under the changes.

“Right now, people should not be travelling on coaches or trains across Queensland unless they have an essential reason to,” Mr Bailey said.

“Essential reasons are things like getting to work or to a medical appointment.

“The Queensland border is now closed and we’re already seeing drops in patronage of up to 60 per cent on buses and trains as people stay home.

“People will still have access to long distance passenger services for essential reasons on all key corridors, but the frequency of those services will be reduced, and we’ll manage passenger numbers on board to separate passengers from each other.”

Under the changes, rail services on the Spirit of the Outback (Brisbane to Longreach), Westlander (Brisbane to Charleville) and Inlander (Townsville to Mount Isa) services will be suspended.

XPT trains between Sydney and Brisbane operated by NSW Trains are terminating in Casino and will not enter Queensland.

North Coast Line (Brisbane to Cairns) passenger rail services will be reduced by about 50 per cent.

The Savannahlander, Gulflander and Kuranda Scenic Railway services will also be suspended.

Long distance coach services will be reduced, and will replace rail services in areas where corresponding rail services have been suspended.

Mr Bailey said decisions would be made to restore services as soon as it was safe to do so.

“These are temporary measures, but they are critical to curbing the spread of COVID-19 into our rural and regional communities,” Mr Bailey said.

“Every single Queenslander should avoid long distance travel unless they absolutely have to for essential purposes.

“We need everyone to work together and follow the latest health advice at this time.

“If you do need to get these services for essential travel within Queensland but are feeling sick, please do not travel and ensure you seek medical treatment and self-isolate if required.”

These changes will come into effect from Monday, March 30, except for Kuranda Scenic Railway services which will take effect from Friday, March 27.

Long Distance Rail Services

Operator

Service

Current Frequency

Minimum service levels

Queensland Rail

Spirit of Queensland

5 return trips per week

3 return trips per week

Rockhampton Tilt Train

7 return trips per week

4 return trips per week

Bundaberg Tilt Train

5 return trips per week

2 return trips per week

Spirit of the Outback

2 return trips per week

Suspended services

Railbus Connection

(Longreach – Winton)

2 return trips per week

Suspended services

Westlander

2 return trips per week

Suspended services

Railbus Connection

(Charleville – Quilpie)

2 return trips per week

Suspended services

Railbus Connection (Charleville – Cunnamulla)

2 return trips per week

Suspended services

Inlander

2 return trips per week

Suspended services

Kuranda Scenic Rail

2 return trips per day

Suspended services

Gulflander

1 return trip per week

Suspended service

NSW Trains

XPT (Sydney – Brisbane)

7 return trips per week

Services terminating in NSW and will not enter QLD

Cairns Kuranda Steam Partnership

Savannahlander (Cairns – Forsayth)

1 return trip per week (March – November)

Suspended services

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