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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Welcome to the new Queensland Rail

    Minister for Transport
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Thursday, July 01, 2010

    Welcome to the new Queensland Rail

    Today marks the beginning of a new era for transport in Queensland with the launch of the new Queensland Rail.

    Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said the new government owned corporation would be focussed on passenger services and maintaining its vast regional rail network covering more than 8000 kilometres of track.

    “145 years ago the then Queensland Government Railways started with the purpose of opening up the new colony and connecting people across vast distances. The new entity will restore focus to that core purpose,” Ms Nolan said.

    The first service carried school children and dignitaries on the new narrow gauge line from Ipswich to Grandchester - none of those passengers could have ever imagined that from those humble beginnings Queensland Rail would carry more than 60 million passengers a year.

    “Queensland Rail has a tremendous history and an exciting future. Today marks a new beginning to refocus on providing passenger rail transport and travel services right across our state,” Ms Nolan said.

    “The new beginning means passenger services no longer compete with freight trains and coal tracks for Government funding.”

    Ms Nolan said South-east Queensland’s two busiest train lines will receive a 9000 seat boost next month with the introduction of four new peak services.

    New peak services on the Caboolture line will roll out with new services on the Ipswich line to follow.

    “Queensland Rail will also overhaul the Citytrain timetable as the current timetable has evolved in an ad hoc manner since 1997,” she said.

    “The current expansion of capacity between Corinda and Darra combined with the new Richlands line opening next year creates an opportunity to fix the timetable – creating more efficiency and more seat capacity for commuters.

    “Community consultation on the new timetables will take place later this year with the aim to implement the timetable in the first half of 2011 with timetable reviews on other lines to follow.

    “Currently, there’s an average of 170,000 passengers journeys on the Queensland Rail network every day, so we need to make sure that those passengers get to where they need to go in the best and most efficient way possible.

    “There will be renewed focus on meeting timetables, reliability and customer service.

    Ms Nolan said the new organisation would kick-off with a $200 million makeover of a third of its train stations – the most intensive station upgrade program in the organisation’s long history.

    “We are serious about making Queensland’s public transport system world class which is why we are investing heavily in new trains and in improving station facilities.

    “This funding injection is in addition to the $30 billion being spent by the Queensland Government to plan and build a better rail network.”

    Queensland Rail will today unveil new trains, new livery and new staff uniforms at various stations across the network.

    Queensland Rail Interim CEO Paul Scurrah said the organisation’s 6500 employees would be focussed on customer service and safety for its passengers and staff.

    “Today our team has been given the rare and exciting opportunity to start a new company,” Mr Scurrah said.

    “There has been a lot of hard work to build this new government owned corporation, to bring our new team together for this historic occasion, and I am proud of the work we have done.

    “We are ready for the new challenge and look forward to getting on with the job of providing a world class rail network for the people of Queensland – not only our customers in the south east, but also to our passengers and industries in regional Queensland.”

    Mr Scurrah said Queensland Rail has recently been awarded the International Customer Service Standard certificate in recognition of its commitment to customer service.

    “We’ll continue to listen to what customers want and today all Queensland Rail senior executives will be on platforms talking to commuters about what they want to see from the new organisation,” he said.

    Media contact: Chris Ward/Clare Gillic 3237 1111