Queensland Rail Citytrain network (Queensland Rail)

Queensland Rail Citytrain network (Queensland Rail)

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.

Queensland Rail City network History

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

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. It was not until the 1970s that electrification was again brought up, with contracts let in 1975. The first part of the new electric system from Darra to Ferny Grove opened on 17 November 1979. 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.

In June 2009 as part the split of Queensland Rail's commuter rail and the freight business, 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.


Further information: 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.

In 2015/16, 52.44 million passenger journeys were made.

Queensland Rail City network Urban

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: Airport line
Line Description: 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.

Line Colour and Name: Beenleigh line
Line Description: South-eastern railway line that runs through Brisbane's southern suburbs and through Logan to Beenleigh.

Line Colour and Name: Caboolture line
Line Description: Northern railway line which runs through Brisbane's northern suburbs then through the Moreton Bay Region to Caboolture.

Line Colour and Name: Cleveland line
Line Description: Eastern railway line that runs through Brisbane's eastern suburbs and then continues east to Cleveland.

Line Colour and Name: Doomben line
Line Description: Eastern railway line that runs past the Eagle Farm and Doomben racecourses.

Line Colour and Name: Exhibition line
Line Description: Special-purpose railway line used mainly for the Royal Queensland Show and occasionally for other special events. This line branches off at Bowen Hills and continues to drop-off and pick-up stations the Brisbane Exhibition Ground. It then loops back to Roma Street.

Line Colour and Name: Ferny Grove line
Line Description: North-western railway line that runs through Brisbane's western suburbs to Ferny Grove.

Line Colour and Name: Ipswich/Rosewood line
Line Description: South-western railway line that runs through Brisbane's southern suburbs to Ipswich and then continues west to Rosewood.

Line Colour and Name: Other lines
Line Description: Extra services running north and south through the Brisbane CBD. These range from special short-distance services (terminating at or between Northgate, Bowen Hills, Roma Street and Park Road) to existing services terminating at Roma Street.

Line Colour and Name: Redcliffe Peninsula line
Line Description: Eastern railway line which branches off from the Caboolture line after Petrie and then continues through the Redcliffe Peninsula to Kippa-Ring.

Line Colour and Name: Shorncliffe line
Line Description: Northern railway line that runs through Brisbane's northern suburbs to Shorncliffe in the Moreton Bay Region.

Line Colour and Name: Springfield line
Line Description: South-western railway line which branches off from the Ipswich/Rosewood line after Darra and then continues alongside the Centenary Motorway to Springfield Central.

Queensland Rail City network Interurban

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 are more designed for long distance travel with more comfortable seating, luggage racks and onboard toilet facilities.

Line Colour and Name: Gold Coast line
Line Description: Continues south from the Beenleigh line to its terminus at Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.

Line Colour and Name: Sunshine Coast line
Line Description: Continues north from the Caboolture line through the Sunshine Coast Region to its termini of Nambour and Gympie North.

Queensland Rail City network RailBus

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.

Queensland Rail City network Fleet

All of the Queensland Rail City Network rolling stock is electric, air conditioned, were constructed locally in Maryborough, and are no older than 39 years:

  • Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) - 87 in service (88 built)
  • Suburban Multiple Unit (SMU)
  • 200 Series (SMU200) - 11 in service (12 built) 
  • IMU 102 at Rocklea station in April 2017
  • 220 Series (SMU220) - 30 in service (30 built)
  • 260 Series (SMU260) - 36 in service (36 built)
  • Interurban Multiple Unit (IMU)
  • 100 Series (IMU100) - 10 in service (10 built)
  • 120 Series (IMU120) - 4 in service (4 built)
  • 160 Series (IMU160) - 28 in service (28 built)
  • InterCity Express (ICE) - 8 two car units plus 4 trailers (20 cars in total) in service (20 built)
New Generation Rollingstock EMU set 702 at Bowen Hills station, in March 2017. These new trains are yet to enter service.

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. 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.

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

Queensland Rail City network Overview

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
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: 140 km/h (87 mph)
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