Queensland has the largest network of railway lines in Australia. Most railway lines in the state are narrow gauge. A standard gauge line runs from Brisbane to the New South Wales–Queensland border at Border Tunnel and into New South Wales. Rio Tinto Aluminium operates a 19 km standard gauge railway at Weipa on the western side of Cape York. Dual gauge (narrow gauge and standard gauge) railways in Brisbane run from Roma Street to Acacia Ridge and to Fisherman Island. The Gold Coast light rail line is standard gauge.
Queensland has approximately 4000 route kilometres of sugar cane railways across various networks. All of these networks are 610 mm (2 feet) gauge, with the exception of the lines servicing Pioneer Mill at Brandon, which use 1067 mm (3 feet, 6 inch) gauge, and a dual gauge line connecting Kalamia Mill at Ayr and Invicta Mill at Giru. The sugar cane railways transport sugar cane to sugar mills for processing. These railways are all owned, operated and maintained by the sugar milling companies. Some additional sugar mills are not serviced by railways.
Links to maps of the major railway lines in Queensland, and light rail lines on the Gold Coast, are below.
Airtrain is a privately-owned company that owns the railway line to Brisbane airport. The line was built and operates under a BOOT (Build Own Operate Transfer) scheme, and will come under the ownership of the Queensland Government after 35 years. It includes two stations, International Airport and Domestic Airport. The line branches off the Caboolture line at Eagle Junction, and 8.5 km of its length is formed by an elevated concrete viaduct, Australia’s longest elevated viaduct.
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)
In Queensland the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) manages and maintains the railway line from Acacia Ridge, a southern suburb of Brisbane, to the New South Wales–Queensland border at Border Tunnel, a distance of 95 km.
Aurizon Network is a subsidiary of Aurizon that operates and manages 2670 km of railway lines comprising the Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN). The network is the largest coal railway network in Australia. It services more than 40 mines and has railway connections to three ports. The CQCN includes four major coal systems:
The Moura system extends from Callemondah (near Gladstone) to Moura Mine Junction. It includes branch lines to Moura Mine, Callide Mine and Boundary Hill, as well as other lines in the Gladstone area.
The Blackwater System extends from Callemondah (near Gladstone) to Gregory, Minerva and Rolleston. It includes numerous balloon loops and spur lines. The section from Callemondah to Rocklands (near Rockhampton) is along the North Coast line, while the section from Rocklands to Nogoa (near Emerald) is along the Central line. The Blackwater System is mostly electrified.
The Goonyella system extends from Hay Point (around 40 km south of Mackay) to North Goonyella, Blair Athol Mine, Gregory Junction and Hail Creek. It includes numerous balloon loops and spur lines. The Goonyella System is completely electrified. A link from Oaky Creek to Gregory connects the Goonyella System with the Blackwater System.
The Newlands System extends from Abbot Point (around 25 km north of Bowen) to Newlands. The Northern Link line from Newlands Junction to North Goonyella connects the Newlands System with the Goonyella System.
Bundaberg Sugar operates Bingera Mill at South Kolan and Millaquin Mill at Bundaberg. The company has a sugar cane railway network comprising approximately 330 route kilometres.
Gold Coast Light Rail (G:link)
The Gold Coast light rail system is called G:link, commonly referred to as the G. It was built and is operated and maintained by GoldLinQ, a privately-owned company. The line extends 20 km from Helensvale railway station to Broadbeach South and includes 19 stations. It is built to standard gauge. Future plans are to extend the line from Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads and Coolangatta.
Isis Central Sugar Mill
Isis Central Sugar Mill is the company that operates Isis Central Mill at Cordalba. The company has a sugar cane railway network comprising 153 route kilometres.
Mackay Sugar operates Racecourse Mill at Mackay, Marian Mill, Farleigh Mill and Mossman Mill. The company has two separate sugar cane railway networks. The Mackay network has a series of connected lines servicing Farleigh Mill, Marian Mill and Racecourse Mill. It comprises 850 route kilometres, extending from Wagoora (70 km north of Mackay) to Munbura (23 km south of Mackay) and to Finch Hatton (76 km west of Mackay). The Mossman network services the Mossman Mill and comprises 87 route kilometres, extending from near Port Douglas (20 km south of Mossman) to Rocky Point (13 km north of Mossman), and west to the edge of the Daintree National Park.
MSF Sugar operates South Johnstone Mill and Mulgrave Mill at Gordonvale. The company has a sugar cane railway network servicing South Johnstone Mill comprising 470 route kilometres, and a network servicing Mulgrave Mill comprising 256 route kilometres.
Queensland Rail maintains more than 6600 route km of railway lines, which comprises most of the railways in the state. Queensland Rail’s Citytrain network in south-east Queensland extends to Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast line, Gympie North on the Sunshine Coast line, and west to Rosewood. All lines within the Citytrain network are electrified.
Queensland Rail’s regional network comprises more than 5700 kilometres of track and is formed by the following systems:
Mount Isa line from Stuart (near Townsville) to Mount Isa, and the branch line from Flynn to Phosphate Hill
North Coast line, extending around 1400 kilometres from Nambour to Cairns, although Queensland Rail’s regional network excludes two sections of the North Coast line: the section between Callemondah (near Gladstone) and Rocklands (near Rockhampton) is part of the Blackwater system managed by Aurizon; and the section between Durroburra and Kaili (near Bowen) is part of the Newlands system managed by Aurizon
West Moreton system, from Rosewood to Miles
Western system, from Miles to Cunnamulla, including branch lines from Dalby to Glenmorgan, Tycanba to Jandowae, Miles to Wandoan, and Westgate to Quilpie
South Western system, from Toowoomba to Wallangarra, Wyreema to Brookstead, and Warwick to Thallon
Central Western system, extending around 800 kilometres from Nogoa (near Emerald) to Hughenden via Longreach and Winton, including branch lines from Emerald to Clermont, and Wurba to Springsure
Tablelands system, from Cairns to Forsayth
Normanton to Croydon, an isolated line extending around 150 kilometres.
The North Coast line is electrified from Brisbane to Rockhampton.
Rio Tinto Aluminium
Rio Tinto Aluminium operates a bauxite mine near Weipa on the western side of Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland. A 19 km standard gauge railway line links the mine at Andoom to the processing plant and port facility at Lorim Point.
Tully Sugar operates Tully Mill. The company has a sugar cane railway network comprising over 200 route kilometres.
Wilmar Sugar operates Victoria Mill at Ingham, Macknade Mill, Invicta Mill at Giru, Kalamia Mill at Ayr, Pioneer Mill at Brandon, Plane Creek Mill at Sarina, Proserpine Mill, and Inkerman Mill at Home Hill. The company has a sugar cane railway network comprising over 1500 route kilometres. Lines servicing Pioneer Mill are 1067 mm gauge, while Invicta Mill and Kalamia Mill are connected by a dual gauge (610 mm and 1067 mm) railway over a 25 km section of line that is part of the Pioneer Mill network. A network of connected lines services Victoria Mill and Macknade Mill. Plane Creek Mill, Proserpine Mill and Inkerman Mill are serviced by separate networks.