Railway operator Queensland Rail owns more than 6500 km of track in Queensland, which services the passenger, tourism, resources and freight markets. Its regional network covers the Mount Isa, North Coast, Western, West Moreton, South Western and Central Western lines.
Queensland Rail is a statutory authority, operating through wholly owned subsidiary Queensland Rail Limited. While Queensland Rail is vertically integrated, this is only in respect to its passenger services. It does not operate freight services. Access by third parties to Queensland Rail’s below-rail infrastructure (that is, rail tracks and associated infrastructure, such as signalling) is based on terms and conditions set out in an access undertaking. The current undertaking (the 2020 access undertaking), approved by the QCA, is due to expire on 30 June 2025.
Queensland Rail’s networks
The regional freight network extends south to Brisbane, Wallagarra and Cunnamulla, north to Cairns and Normanton, east along the coast and west to Mount Isa, Winton and Quilpie.
Queensland Rail’s network business provides services to rail operators on the regional freight systems, including negotiating access to the network.
South east Queensland (city) network
Queensland Rail also operates the south east Queensland network, which is an integrated passenger and rail access service. It extends from the centre of Brisbane, south to Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast, via Beenleigh, north to Ferny Grove, Caboolture and Gympie, east to Cleveland and west to Richlands, Ipswich and Rosewood.
Current access undertaking
Queensland Rail’s 2020 access undertaking came into effect on 1 July 2020 and terminates on 30 June 2025. The undertaking sets out the terms and conditions under which Queensland Rail provides access to its rail infrastructure. These include, for example, Queensland Rail’s obligations, the process for an access seeker to negotiate access and the way disputes in relation to access are to be resolved. The undertaking also provides rules for setting prices.
Information on how the 2020 access undertaking was developed and approved can be found on the 2020 draft access undertaking page.
The QCA published its decision on Queensland Rail’s 2020 draft access undertaking in February 2020. The decision was not to approve the draft. Queensland Rail submitted an amended 2020 DAU on 24 April 2020, and updated it on 15 May 2020.
The QCA approved the updated amended 2020 DAU on 1 July 2020, and it then became the 2020 access undertaking.