GYMPIE region commuters will have more train travel options to and from Brisbane as of next week through a trial to integrate the Bundaberg Tilt Train with the south-east Queensland train network.
The six-month trial offers a special commuter fare on the Bundaberg Tilt Trains, opening up two additional services each week day between Gympie, Cooroy and Brisbane for the same price as a TransLink paper ticket.
Regular train traveller and Member for Gympie, David Gibson, yesterday welcomed the special fare.
"Gympie will benefit from these changes by having the increased flexibility to catch an additional daily train either departing Gympie North or returning from the City at the City Train fare," he said.
"I remember when I was lobbying for an extra midday train the Labor Government was always saying passenger numbers were not high enough to warrant an additional service.
"Well we've proven that Gympie residents will use the train if you provide the service, with the passenger numbers for the 1.20pm City Rail service now showing it is one of the most popular.
"With increasing traffic congestion and rising fuel prices I wouldn't be surprised to see this service becoming very popular with locals as the word gets out of the benefits in parking the car and relaxing on the train.
"On this service you can purchase a meal on board, watch a movie or catch up on some reading and of course there are bathroom facilities for the journey.
"The option of a weekday 4.55pm departure from the city will also be attractive as it arrives in at Gympie an hour before the City Train does.
"As the Bundaberg Tilt Train is already in service this announcement is at no cost to the taxpayer but will provide a huge benefit to Gympie and surrounding region."
Gympie North and Cooroy passengers will be able to travel on the Bundaberg Tilt Train for the cost of a single paper ticket journey - a 40% reduction on the standard ticket price.
The morning service will depart Gympie North at 7.05am, Cooroy at 7.38am, arriving at Roma St at 9.50am while the afternoon service departs Roma St at 4.55pm before arriving at Cooroy at 6.58pm and Gympie North at 7.30pm.
Passengers will be able to pre-book on the Tilt Train for $30 for an adult journey or $15 for concession, or simply turn up and go on the day, if seats are available.
As these are pre-booked services, go card use is not available.
A trip between Gympie North and Brisbane would normally cost $49 on the Bundaberg Tilt Train.
Inquiries phone Queensland Rail Travel on 1800 872 467.