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AN overhaul of the southeast's CityTrain timetable is on track to squeeze extra services on to the network.
Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said the newly divided Queensland Rail would improve services for commuters, with a focus on fixing overcrowding and poor frequency on the network.
She said four new services would be rolled out on the Ipswich and Caboolture lines next month, while $200 million would be spent improving almost a third of the 211 train stations across the southeast.
"For too long passenger services had to compete with coal freight services for investment and for, frankly, attention in a very big organisation," she said.
"Now for the first time passengers and the maintenance of 8000km of track will be QR's one and only focus and I think the people of Queensland, as passengers of QR, will see a better service."
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Ms Nolan said the timetable overhaul, to be implemented in the first half of 2011, might free up space on the busy Gold Coast and Beenleigh lines.
"We are nearing capacity on that Gold Coast and Beenleigh line," she said. "That's why I'm announcing a timetable review to see how many extra trains we can fit through those lines and it is why we are currently planning Cross River Rail."
QR National, the coal freight arm, was yesterday permanently separated from the state-owned corporation ahead of the public float this year.
Ms Nolan said the State Government was still planning the public float of QR National, despite a $4.85 billion bid for the coal freight assets by coal companies earlier this year.
QR Limited, which will remain in public hands, will spend $200 million on upgrading stations across the network, while passenger trains will be given a new paint job.
QR interim chief executive officer Paul Scurrah said regional passenger services between Brisbane, Cairns and Longreach may have to pay fees to use parts of the track now owned by QR National.
"There's still negotiations going on in regards to our trains accessing parts of the network," he said. "There are arrangements both ways (and) they will continue to use the 80 per cent of the track that we own."
Meanwhile Brisbane City Council yesterday also launched their 16th CityCat, providing eight extra services.
Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said the 17th CityCat would be delivered by the end of the year, with 19 to be rolled out by March 2012.
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