The Emerald train station is just one of the many historic attractions of the area.
The Emerald train station is just one of the many historic attractions of the area.

Transport services increase as restrictions ease

TRAVELLERS wanting to see more regional areas can save up to 60 per cent on long-distance train travel as more transport options open in Queensland.

Queensland Rail will reinstate reduced and suspended travel and tourism services gradually from June 13, with most services fully restored ahead of the school holidays.

Spirit of the Outback, which runs return trips from Brisbane to Longreach, won’t resume until June 23 with one return trip per week. It will increase to two services a week from June 27.

Emerald Chamber of Commerce president Victor Cominos said he was excited to hear the necessary service would recommence as coronavirus restrictions ease.

“It couldn’t come at a better time,” he said of the reopening ahead of school holidays.

“I believe the train is a necessity. My biggest regret is there aren’t more services.”

Mr Cominos said the train service, that passes through Emerald, would provide an affordable travel option for people who needed to reach Rockhampton or Brisbane for business, tourism or medical reasons.

“They also provide concessions for Centrelink clients going west or to Brisbane, they can go on the train which is affordable when flights aren’t,” he said.

“I’m certainly glad it’s coming back, it’s very much a needed service.”

Queensland Rail’s Queensland Escape sale will provide 60 per cent off tickets on the Spirit of the Outback and will be available until July 12.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the sale would support more Queenslanders getting out of the house and exploring “our great state”.

“If you’ve ever wanted to head out to Longreach on the Spirit of the Outback or explore the tropics on the iconic Kuranda Scenic Railway, now’s your chance – and right in time for the school holidays,” he said.

While services are revamping, measures implemented to help keep customers safe in response to the global coronavirus pandemic would remain.

“Social distancing measures will still be in place on all services, as will the heightened cleaning regimen across the fleet,” Mr Bailey said.

“We want Queenslanders to relax and enjoy a holiday, but we also want them to remain safe.”

To view the timetable changes, visit www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au, and to make a booking, contact Queensland Rail Travel on 1800 872 467.


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