Electric Tilt Train

The Electric Tilt Train is the name for two identical high-speed tilting trains operated by Queensland Rail on the North Coast line from Brisbane to Bundaberg and Rockhampton which entered service in November 1998.

Electric Tilt Train
City of Rockhampton train (Sunshine railway station, Brisbane).jpg
Refurbished "City of Rockhampton" at Sunshine in July 2017
In service6 November 1998–present
Built atMaryborough
Number built2
Number in service2
Formation6 cars
Operator(s)Queensland Rail
Depot(s)Mayne, Gracemere
Line(s) servedNorth Coast
Maximum speedService: 160 km/h (99 mph),
Record: 210 km/h (130 mph)
Electric system(s)25 kV AC Overhead lines
Current collection methodPantograph
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
QR Tilt Train
Gympie North
Maryborough West
Miriam Vale
Mount Larcom
St Lawrence
Home Hill


In March 1993 Queensland Rail issued a tender for the construction of two electric six-carriage tilting trains. In October 1994 a contract was awarded to Walkers, Maryborough with Hitachi to supply the electrical and tilting equipment.[1]

After an extensive program, on 6 November 1998 Australia's first pair of tilting trains entered service on the Spirit of Capricorn between Brisbane and Rockhampton. With a journey time of seven hours, they shaved over two hours from the schedule operated by InterCity Express sets.[2][3][4] In July 1999 a second daily service was introduced between Brisbane and Bundaberg.[5]

Using traction equipment based on the JR Shikoku 8000 series trains, the Tilt Train set an Australian train speed record of 210 km/h (130 mph) north of Bundaberg in May 1999, a record that still stands.[6][7] This also makes it the fastest narrow-gauge train in the world.[8]

In 2006 the electric sets underwent an $8.3 million refurbishment program at Mayne depot.

In 2015 the tilt train sets again undertook refurbishment over the course of 12 months with the addition of high visibility yellow doors, and a modification of the front ends. The traction packages were given a complete overhaul to extend the life of the tilt train. The trains also had Wi-fi installed to enable wireless internet for passengers.[9] The first refurbished set re-entered service in July 2016.[10] The second refurbished set re-entered service in July 2017.



Commencing in 1998, the electric Tilt Train operates from Brisbane to Rockhampton. With a top service speed of 160 km/h (100 mph) and the ability to tilt five degrees in each direction, the Tilt Train is the fastest train in Australia, but has the same maximum allowed service speed as the V/Line VLocity train which operates in Victoria. The train operates the on the North Coast line and serves the intermediate towns of Gympie, Maryborough West railway station, Bundaberg and Gladstone. The Electric Tilt Trains run in a multiple unit configuration.

The electric Tilt Train features 2×2 economy seating, and 1×2 business class seating, mainscreen visual entertainment along with in-seat audio entertainment. Economy class passengers have a regular trolley service and a buffet style galley food service, while business class has a frequent trolley service and passenger attendants to tend to the needs of the passengers.


A service from Roma Street to Bundaberg began in 2014.

The Electric Tilt Train Cab Railcar from 1998
The Standard Consist used by the Electric Tilt Train From 6 November 1998.


  1. ^ "Tilt EMUs Ordered for Brisbane – Rockhampton Run" Railway Digest November 1994 page 14
  2. ^ Beattie, Peter (1 November 1998). "All aboard Australia's first Tilt Train". Ministerial Media Statements. Queensland Government.
  3. ^ "Australia enters the Tilt Train era" Railway Digest December 1998 pages 22–25, 40
  4. ^ Bredhauer, Stephen (30 December 1998). "Australia's Biggest Rail Investment". Ministerial Media Statements. Queensland Government.
  5. ^ "Bundaberg Day-Return Tilt Service Commences" Railway Digest August 1999 page 15
  6. ^ QR Limited (1999). Annual Report June 1999 (PDF). Brisbane: QR Limited. p. 53. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2009.
  7. ^ "QR Tilt Train Sets Australian Rail Speed Record" Railway Digest June 1999 page 15
  8. ^ "World's fastest on narrow tracks – National – www.smh.com.au". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Tilt Train Maintenance". queenslandrailtravel.com.au. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Free Wi-Fi on new look Tilt Train". Retrieved 24 June 2017.

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