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A parliamentary petition to reinstate sleeper carriages on a north Queensland train service has gained more than 1,300 signatures.
Queensland Rail retired the 60-year-old sleeper carriages on the Inlander train, between Mount Isa and Townsville, at the start of the year.
The Member for Mount Isa, Robbie Katter, said there had been an impressive response from his electorate, many of whom had no other way to travel.
"You know it was made comfortable if you had a cafe cart and sleeper cabins but they took those off, which I think most people would say with a view to try and shut down the service and that was a really big blow to those people who relied on that service and almost rendered it useless," he said.
Mr Katter said the petition was due to be tabled in Parliament this week.
"I said in my discussions with the Deputy Premier, I said it may not seem like a big issue to you and there may not be a lot of users of this service but [for] the people who use it it's critical ... and that goes to the heart of really what I represent in this seat," he said.
He said the State Government should pay to rejuvenate the carriages.
"The carriages that have been removed from service, we think they could be refurbished and we think it's a worthwhile investment," he said.
"It's a commitment to country Queensland by the rail authority and ultimately it's the State Government that can fund that."
Rail Back on Track campaigner Robert Dow said the service would be phased out if people did not use it.
"Sitting up in a seat for 20, 24 hours, particularly as you're getting on a bit in years, makes it very difficult to travel," he said.
"Rail is a very safe mode of transport, people want to use rail but if they are forced to sit up for 20, 24 hours, it's just too long, it makes it impractical for people."
In December last year, Queensland Rail said the carriages were being retired for safety reasons.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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