Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland Rail has continued to deliver regional rail services, connecting communities across Queensland, with minimal disruption.
Having closely monitored the impacts of the latest COVID-19 transmission on its employees and following the completion of contingency planning, Queensland Rail will introduce some temporary changes from Monday 17 January to its regional services, to increase certainty for customers.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said to manage an increasing number of employees in isolation while minimising the impact to customers, some regional services will be temporarily reduced.
"Like the rest of Queensland, Queensland Rail is experiencing a rising number of employees who need to isolate for their health, and for the safety of others," Mr Bailey said.
"To manage this and ensure stability and clarity for customers, from Monday 17 January, Queensland Rail will temporarily suspend operation of the Inlander service between Townsville and Mount Isa, and the Westlander service between Brisbane and Charleville.
"From the week commencing 24 January, the Spirit of the Outback service between Brisbane and Longreach will also temporarily reduce to one service per week."
"Queensland Rail is contacting all customers that were booked on the impacted services to offer a refund, rebooking or alternate transport arrangements.
"Queensland Rail appreciates customers' understanding during the temporary change, which aims to give service stability during a rapidly changing situation, providing customers the information they need to plan their travel."
Mr Bailey confirmed there would be no impacts to the regional freight network and at this stage no changes on the Brisbane to Cairns corridor.
"Queensland Rail will continue to review the impacts of COVID-19 on the workforce and its operations and keep customers informed of any developments.
"Queensland has also adjusted isolation rules for essential workers which includes transport staff, easing pressure on the Queensland Rail workforce."
For more information, customers can visit queenslandrailtravel.com.au or call 1800 TRAINS (872 467).