Southbound Tilt train arriving Townsville station, 2 January 2013.
Queensland Rail operates various long-distance train services in Queensland. Bus services connecting with trains are also provided by Queensland Rail to some destinations. Long-distance train services in Queensland operate from Brisbane to Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Cairns, Longreach, Charleville, and Mount Isa. Additionally, Queensland Rail operates the Kuranda Scenic Railway between Cairns and Kuranda, and the Gulflander on the isolated Normanton–Croydon line, both of which are primarily tourist services. The Savannahlander between Cairns and Forsayth is a privately-operated tourist train, but is promoted in Queensland Rail timetables. In Brisbane long-distance services originate and terminate at Roma Street station.
Spirit of Queensland
The Spirit of Queensland is a diesel-powered Tilt Train that runs between Brisbane and Cairns five times a week in each direction. These trains typically consist of seven passenger carriages with a power car at each end. Between Brisbane and Cairns the journey is approximately 24 hours in duration. The line between Brisbane and Cairns was constructed in 64 separate sections, and there were various isolated sections of line at different times. The line was finally completed in 1924. The total distance of the rail journey between Brisbane and Cairns is 1681 km.
The Tilt Train is an electrically-powered Tilt Train that runs between Brisbane and Bundaberg, and Brisbane and Rockhampton. Four services commence at Brisbane and terminate at Bundaberg each week, while five services commence at Bundaberg and terminate at Brisbane. There are eight services between Brisbane and Rockhampton each week, with seven between Rockhampton and Brisbane. The total distance of the rail journey between Brisbane and Bundaberg is 351 km, and between Brisbane and Rockhampton the distance is 639 km.
Spirit of the Outback
The Spirit of the Outback runs between Brisbane and Longreach twice a week in each direction. It is a locomotive-hauled train consisting of L Series carriages. The journey is approximately 26 hours in duration. Spirit of the Outback traverses the North Coast line between Brisbane and Rockhampton, and the Central Western line between Rockhampton and Longreach. In both directions the train reverses direction at Rockhampton. The line between Rockhampton and Longreach was constructed from 1867, reaching Emerald in 1879, Barcaldine in 1896 and Longreach in 1892. An extension to Winton was completed in 1928, but this section no longer receives passenger train services. The total distance of the rail journey between Brisbane and Longreach is 1325 km.
The Westlander runs between Brisbane and Charleville twice a week in each direction. Services operate overnight. It is a locomotive-hauled train consisting of L Series carriages. The Westlander traverses Queensland’s Western line. Construction of the railway line from Ipswich was extended to Toowoomba in 1867, Roma in 1880 and Charleville in 1888. The connection between Ipswich and Brisbane Central was completed in 1875. The total distance of the rail journey between Brisbane and Charleville is 777 km.
The Inlander runs between Townsville and Mount Isa twice a week in each direction. Services operate overnight. It is a locomotive-hauled train consisting of L Series carriages. The Inlander traverses Queensland’s Great Northern line. Construction of the railway line from Townsville was extended to Charters Towers in 1882, Hughenden in 1887, Cloncurry in 1908 and Mount Isa in 1929. The total distance of the rail journey between Townsville and Mount Isa is 967 km, and between Brisbane and Mount Isa the distance is 2318 km.
The Gulflander runs between Normanton and Croydon once a week in each direction, departing Normanton on Wednesdays and returning from Croydon on Thursdays. The isolated railway between Normanton and Croydon was completed in 1891. It was intended that the line would connect to other Queensland railway lines but construction never eventuated. The Gulflander typically operates as a rail motor with an RM diesel rail motor hauling two trailer carriages. The total distance of the rail journey between Normanton and Croydon is 152 km. Short-distance local excursions also operate from Normanton.