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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Rail safety in Queensland

Changes to rail safety regulations and investigations

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator is the National Rail Safety Regulator. The national regulator was established in response to the Council of Australian Government's decision to introduce national reform for rail safety in Australia. The Rail Safety National Law (Queensland) Act 2017, commenced 1 July 2017, applies the Rail Safety National Law and includes provisions to suit Queensland's rail environment.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is the National Rail Safety Investigator and is responsible for undertaking all no-blame rail investigations. These investigations were previously investigated by the Department of Transport and Main Roads. 

About Queensland railways

Queensland is Australia's second largest state and home to mineral resources, extensive agriculture and many of the country's iconic tourist destinations. To meet the challenges, and capitalise on the opportunities presented by its size, rapid population growth and diverse economic base, Queensland needs a safe, efficient and reliable transport network. Rail transport is a key element of the Department of Transport and Main Roads long term strategic plan to provide an integrated and accessible transport system in Queensland that will underpin regional development, facilitate employment growth and meet the complex travel needs of a diverse community.

Queensland’s rail network offers cost effective and reliable long-distance transport for livestock, bulk commodities, coal, minerals and agricultural products between regions, air and sea ports and commercial centres. The rail network also offers safe and affordable transport for passengers in urban, rural and regional areas of the state.

Queensland has over 10,500km of commercial track used by around 70 accredited rail transport operators, and 4,000km of cane railway track. The Queensland rail network was the first in the world to adopt a narrow gauge for a main line and is now the second largest narrow-gauge network in the world. With such an extensive track network, there are over 1,400 public and 1,400 private rail level crossings. There are extensive CBD services, providing public transport throughout Brisbane as far south as the Gold Coast, north as Gympie, east to the airport and Cleveland, and west to Ipswich and Rosewood. The CBD network is about 300 route kilometres and 150 stations.

Last updated 16 September 2021