Passenger Rail

Queensland’s Tilt Trains celebrate 20 years of operation

Queensland Rail is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their distinctive Tilt Trains, which have been in operation since November 1998.

Queensland’s Tilt Trains have travelled almost twelve million kilometres over the past two decades and today carry more than 200,000 customers each year between Brisbane to Rockhampton.

Tilting trains are designed to counteract the effects of centrifugal force usually experienced when trains travel around curves at speed, such as loss of balance. Tilt trains carriages tilt towards the inside of the curve, thus compensating for the g-force.

“The Tilt Train fleet was a real hit when it launched,” said Queensland Rail tilt train driver Jonathan Limpus.

“Gone were the days of the slow, bumpy commute; now there was a fleet of trains that could travel at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour and get the entire family from the south east to Rocky faster than a car and without any hassle.

“What made it so special compared to traditional trains is that it used ground-breaking technology from Japan that allowed it to approach curves at a higher speed without making passengers feel like they were going to roll out of their seats.

The tilt train set the Australian rail speed record on 23 May 1999 clocking in at 210 kilometres per hour. Within two years of its launch, more than half a million people had travelled on the Tilt Trains.

Queensland Rail recently invested more than $28 million to refurbish its entire Tilt Train fleet, giving the trains a mid-life mechanical overhaul and bringing in technology like Wi-Fi and USB charging ports.

“The Tilt Trains offer a seven-and-a-half hour journey between Brisbane and Rockhampton, which is comparable to car travel, but with the added relaxation of on board meals and beverages, as well as in-seat visual and audio entertainment,” Queensland’s transport minister Mark Bailey said.