Westlander and Inlander services suspended again

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The Queensland Government has announced today that due to ongoing staffing issues caused by the latest Covid-19 surge, QR is suspending the Inlander and Westlander services from Monday. The following week, the Spirit of the Outback will be reduced to one return service per week. Long distance QR services were similarly suspended during the initial Covid lock downs in 2020.


https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/94258

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Likelihood of returning this month ?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Likelihood of returning this month ?
freightgate

That will depend on the current Covid surge, I'd assume a return of services will be sometime during February or March.
  Brianr Deputy Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Can anyone tell me when bookings on the Spirit of Queensland for July/August are likely to open?
I have booked (fingers crossed ) the Savannahlander/Gulflander tour for late July. I am considering flyilng to Townsville and catching the train to Cairns, probably no problem, but then travelling all the way back from Cairns to Brisbane afterwards and would only do that with a railbed.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Can anyone tell me when bookings on the Spirit of Queensland for July/August are likely to open?
I have booked (fingers crossed ) the Savannahlander/Gulflander tour for late July. I am considering flyilng to Townsville and catching the train to Cairns, probably no problem, but then travelling all the way back from Cairns to Brisbane afterwards and would only do that with a railbed.
Brianr

Booking atm are restricted to 22 March, so I expect that after that time bookings will be open. I'm also doing the same with folding e-bike in tow around early July.

If you're coming from Brisbane and wish to avoid an overnighter on the train, but maximise daylight rail travel, I'd fly to Proserpine and travel to/from Cairns from there.

Mike.
  Brianr Deputy Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
At the moment I will be coming from Sydney as my main reason is to see my (only) family who live there. Visits to Sydney in 2020 and 2021 were cancelled. I was unable to get a booking on the Savannahlander/Gulflander in 2021 after Trans Tasman bubble opened and it would have been cancelled anyway.
The Gulflander was the problem or more correctly accommodation in Norseman and I was unwilling to do just the Savannahlander as it is unlikely I will ever return to this area. My last visit anywhere north of Mackay was in 1971. I did drive my campervan to Mackay in 1975.

So I have planned to fly to Townsville and spend a day on Magnetic Island then train to Cairns, I have booked a refundable 2 night 4WD trip to Cooktown, then the rail journey and finally 8 days self driving around Atherton and Mission Beach.
My alternatives then were to 1. fly Cairns to Sydney, 2. daylight train to Mackay then fly to Sydney 3. Overnight train to Brisbane then fly to Sydney.
I now have refundable hotel bookings for the whole journey including Brisbane. I had not considered Proserpine.

I travelled to Longreach then back to Rockhampton in 2007. Also to Charleville.  At that time I travelled both ways on XPT Sydney to Brisbane (I still lived in the Blue Mountains then).  Never again with the unearthly early arrival into Brisbane and the Coach journey from Brisbane to Casino on the way home.
I had sleepers to Longreach and both ways to Charleville ,although I took a few days break in Toowoomba on the way back, then bus into Brisbane.
I would like to travel on the Inlander but overnight economy seating is beyond my capacity at my age.

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