Queensland Rail Stabling Program: Frequently asked questions


Q. What is a stabling facility?

A. A stabling facility is a place where trains are parked when they are not in operation. Typically, trains return to the stabling facility at the end of service and until they are required again.


Q. Why does Queensland Rail need more stabling facilities?

A. Additional stabling facilities are required to meet the growing demand for rail services in South East Queensland and to service the increase in size of the rolling stock fleet starting in 2016.


Q. What happens at a stabling facility?

A. Trains parked in a stabling facility are cleaned internally and prepared for the next day's service. This includes removing waste, decanting (emptying toilets) and other routine inspections. Other maintenance and external cleaning is undertaken at Queensland Rail’s dedicated maintenance facilities such a Bowen Hills and the soon to be constructed site at Wulkuraka.   


Q. Do stabling facilities generate noise?

A. Trains most frequently arrive at our stabling facilities at the end of the last service of the day and depart up to an hour prior to the first scheduled service of the day. Some noise will be generated as result of train movements and other activities associated with the general operations of the stabling facility.

Noise associated with the use of audible safety warning devices such as train horns, will be generated as part of stabling operations. The use of audible safety devices will be restricted to the minimum required to maintain the safety of staff and/or members of the public. At Woombye a maximum of four trains will arrive for overnight stabling and depart for morning service.

For work health and safety reasons, air-conditioning units must continue to operate while parked trains are being cleaned. Queensland Rail and The Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) are working closely with the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) design team to investigate options that will limit air conditioning usage while NGR trains are stabled overnight to minimise noise impacts.

Queensland Rail is committed to mitigating noise from its activities and potential noise impacts associated with all new stabling facilities are independently and objectively assessed. All activities associated with the design, construction and operation of stabling facilities will incorporate a commitment to minimise rail noise impacts as far as reasonable and practicable.

Additional information about how Queensland Rail manages rail noise, can be found at here.

Q. Why were these sites chosen?

A. The location of stabling facilities helps to increase reliability, reduce network operating costs, improve network capacity by relieving congestion and ensuring faster response times in case of train failure.

A feasibility study was undertaken to identify the optimum locations for new stabling facilities.  This study investigated potential sites using various criteria including operational suitability, technical feasibility, land use planning, environmental impacts and social considerations.


Q. Will there be bright lights?

A. As most activities occur at night, stabling facilities have lighting installed for the safety of staff and for site security.
Modern lighting technology and design criteria aim to minimise light spread from the facility while maintaining the minimum standards within the facility.


Q. What does a typical stabling facility look like

A. A typical stabling facility is a fenced, open-air site with train tracks, connections to the main line, overhead power supply, signalling and communication systems, CCTV and lighting.  The compound will contain a building to support stabling operations. This will provide crew facilities such as offices and staff amenities, and stores for cleaning materials. There will be provision for staff parking, access roads and walkways.

All new facilities will incorporate state of the art systems in relation to light, noise and security requirements. The lighting used by Queensland Rail is directional LED lighting (for mitigation of light spill) with lighting maintained at a minimum level of lux unless activated by movement (low level).


Q. Where are trains currently stabled?

A. Queensland Rail currently has stabling facilities at Mayne Yard (Bowen Hills), Caboolture, Ipswich, Redbank, Robina and Beenleigh.  A number of rail sidings at Nambour, Petrie, Manly and Gympie North are used to stable trains.


Q. Does this mean there will be more trains?

A. Service frequency is determined by scheduled timetable.


Q. While the stabling facility contribute to an increase in criminal activity and vandalism?

A. Localised and effective security measures will be in place to deter crime and vandalism.  The measures will include restricted access to the facility, remotely monitored security cameras, motion detectors and high security fences.

Page last updated: 08/05/15

More information

Queensland Rail Stabling Program
Site Selections
​Further questions and feedback
Frequently asked q​uestions

Stabling enquiries

  • Phone: 1800 783 334 (free call from anywhere in Australia. Check with your service provider for call costs.)
  • Email: stabling@qr.com.au