All aboard as QLD Gov looks to get more people on trains

QUEENSLAND Rail will ramp up its efforts this year to address capacity issues across regional centres in a bid to attract more users to the network.

The organisation's annual report has been tabled in State Parliament and revealed regional access agreements were worth more than $218 million to the organisation last year despite the Toowoomba Range and North Coast lines being closed for more than two weeks as a result of Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

Queensland Rail chairman Michael Klug said in his report the organisation was responsible for 6754km of track across the state's network.

"Aside from the rapid expansion in south-east Queensland's population, commuter and long distance passenger trains compete with freight operators for access to paths on the network," he said.

"Queensland Rail is working with the State Government to tackle the capacity challenges through a long term rail network strategy for growth."

Mr Klug said part of that strategy will be the $50 million upgrade for the Toowoomba Range rail infrastructure which forms a key component of the State Government's Regional Freight Growth Strategy.

The project will take 25,000 trucks off highways across the south-east region and is expected to be completed within two years.

"With a proud history of supporting rural communities, Queensland Rail remains committed to driving economic growth by supporting resources, agriculture, tourism and construction industries," he said.

The report further revealed more than 750,000 passengers used long distance regional rail services and more than 28 million tonnes of freight was transported across the state last year.

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