Queensland Rail City network

Queensland Rail City network

IMU 173 in Queensland Rail City Network livery
Owner Queensland Rail
Locale South East Queensland
Transit type Commuter Rail
Number of lines 13
Number of stations 152
Annual ridership 52.44 million (2015/16)
Headquarters Brisbane
Website www.queenslandrail.com.au
Operator(s) Queensland Rail
Number of vehicles 684 in 205 sets
(450 in 75 sets under construction)
System length 689 km (428 mi)
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 25 kV AC
Top speed 130 km/h (81 mph)

The Queensland Rail City network (formerly known as Citytrain prior to the split of Queensland Rail) provides urban, suburban and inter-urban electric passenger railway services in South East Queensland, Australia.


Main article: Railways in Brisbane

The first railway in Queensland did not actually run to Brisbane, but ran from Ipswich to Grandchester. Opened in July 1865,[1] the line into Brisbane was not completed until the opening of the Albert Bridge in July 1875.[2]

A start on electrification of the suburban network was approved in 1950 but a change of state government in 1957 saw the scheme abandoned in 1959.[3] It was not until the 1970s that electrification was again brought up, with contracts let in 1975.[4] The first part of the new electric system from Darra to Ferny Grove opened on 17 November 1979.[5][6] The network was completed by 1988, with a number of extensions made since and additional rolling stock purchased. Services were initially operated under the Queensland Rail brand, with the Citytrain name established in 1995.[7]

In June 2009 as part the split of Queensland Rail's commuter rail and the freight business,[8] The Citytrain brand was dropped in favour of using the redesigned Queensland Rail brand. Since then almost all traces of the Citytrain brand have been removed from rolling stock and station signage.


For more details on this topic, see Rail network in South East Queensland.

The Queensland Rail City network is made up of ten suburban lines and three interurban lines. Centering in the Brisbane City, it extends as far as Gympie in the north, Varsity Lakes in the south, Rosewood in the west, and Cleveland in the east to Moreton Bay.[9]


Services that connect Metropolitan Brisbane to the Brisbane CBD. These are all-stop services with the Caboolture, Cleveland & Ipswich/Rosewood lines having express services during on-peak times.

Line Colour and Name Line Description
Airport line Airtrain Citylink service which links the Brisbane CBD to the International and Domestic terminals of the Brisbane Airport. The line from Eagle Junction to the airport is privately owned and the service is provided by Queensland Rail under contract.
Beenleigh line Southern railway line that runs through Brisbane's southern suburbs and through Logan to Beenleigh.
Caboolture line Northern railway line which runs through Brisbane's northern suburbs then through the Moreton Bay Region to Caboolture.
Cleveland line Eastern railway line that runs through Brisbane's Eastern Suburbs and then continues through Redland's Northern suburbs towards the suburb of Cleveland.
Doomben line Eastern railway line that runs to the suburb of Ascot, as well as the Eagle Farm Racecourse and Doomben Racecourse.
Exhibition line Special-purpose railway line used mainly for the Royal Queensland Show and occasionally for other special events. This line branches off after Fortitude Valley and continues to the Brisbane Exhibition Ground. It then loops back to Roma Street station.
Ferny Grove line North-West railway line that runs to the suburbs of Mitchelton and Ferny Grove.
Ipswich/Rosewood line South-West rail line that runs to Ipswich and then continues west to the town of Rosewood.
Springfield line Branches off from the Ipswich/Rosewood line after Darra and then continues alongside the Centenary Motorway to Springfield Central.
Shorncliffe line 20km rail line that runs North-East from the Brisbane CBD to the suburbs of Sandgate and Shorncliffe on the Moreton Bay.


Express services which stop only at major stations linking the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Gympie with Brisbane. The trains used on these lines typically more designed for long distance travel with more comfortable seating, luggage racks and onboard toilet facilities.

Line Colour and Name Line Description
Gold Coast line Continues south from the Beenleigh line to its terminus at Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.
Sunshine Coast line Continues North from the Caboolture line through the Sunshine Coast hinterland to Nambour and Gympie.


To relieve congestion on the single track North Coast line north of Beerburrum, the rail service is supplemented by a bus service operated by Kangaroo Bus Lines on weekdays between Caboolture and Nambour as route 649.[10]


All of the Queensland Rail City Network rolling stock is electric, air conditioned, were constructed locally in Maryborough, and are no older than 37 years:

All trains are electric multiple units with a driver cabin at both ends, with the exception of EM60 through to EM79 having a cab at one end. These units also have only 3 powered bogies (per 3 car set) compared to the 4 powered bogie arrangement for the remaining EMUs. All EMU, SMU and IMU units consist of 3 cars, giving a fleet total of 621 cars, plus the 20 ICE cars. The ICE sets are usually configured as four, five or six car trains.

Due to increasing patronage, suburban trains may be scheduled on interurban lines. The Sunshine Coast line occasionally requires the use of suburban rolling stock on some services, substituting for an ICE or IMU set. The Gold Coast line, predominately serviced by IMU trains, is less likely to have services operated by suburban sets. While using suburban trains on interurban lines increases operational flexibility, the trains are not provided with the facilities of the IMU or ICE sets, such as toilets or high-backed seats.

As of 28 October 2012, 64 trains in the South East Queensland fleet have free Wi-Fi installed.[12] It is planned for Wi-Fi internet access to be installed in older units as they are upgraded. The Wi-Fi usage is limited to 20MB.[13]

75 new six-car New Generation Rollingstock trains were ordered in January 2014 for delivery between late 2015 and late 2018.[14] A new maintenance facility for these trains was built at Wulkuraka.

See also


  1. "QR Corporate - QR History - Beginnings". www.corporate.qr.com.au. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  2. "QR Corporate - QR History - Building to the bush". www.corporate.qr.com.au. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  3. Geoffrey B. Churchman (1995). Railway Electrification in Australia and New Zealand. IPL Books. p. 131. ISBN 0-646-06893-8.
  4. Geoffrey B. Churchman (1995). Railway Electrification in Australia and New Zealand. IPL Books. p. 132. ISBN 0-646-06893-8.
  5. "QR Corporate - Modern competitive railway". www.corporate.qr.com.au. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  6. "Brisbane Rail Electrification Stages 1 and 2 Armstrong, J Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin August 1982 pp165-192
  7. "Annual Report Summaries" Railway Digest February 1996 page 26
  8. Queensland asset sales to reap $15 billion Brisbane Times 2 June 2009
  9. "QR Citytrain Network Map". Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  10. Route 649 timetable TransLink 20 January 2014
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Citytrain fleet". www.queenslandrail.com.au. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  13. "Transport Priority in State Budget 2008-09" (PDF). SEQIPRail. QLD Treasury Department. 3 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  14. "New Generation Rollingstock". Department of Transport and Main Roads.
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