Brisbane has a network of suburban railways that carry commuters, long distance travellers and freight. There are 10 train lines - Airport, Beenleigh, Caboolture, Cleveland, Doomben, Ferny Grove, Gold Coast, Ipswich/Rosewood, Shorncliffe and Sunshine Coast - and 139 stations in Brisbane's train network. The commuter trains on these lines are all pretty new and offer much seating, room for standing with bicycles, disabled access and air conditioning which is a relief in the hot Brisbane heat. Queensland Rail has also improved your travel experience with the introduction of free Wi-Fi in certain carriages on the City network trains. Failing that you can be sure in the afternoon to find a copy of the free MX newspaper lying around the train. It's a kind of unspoken train courtesy that you leave these behind for other travellers to read.
The easiest way to plan your route across any of Brisbane's public transport types is to use the online Journey Planner. You can input where you're going, where from and what time you want to be there for a list of routes, times and directions.
Major Brisbane Train Stations
Located in the heart of the CBD, Central Station is the main stop for city workers and those shopping in Queen Street Mall. While Central is in the middle of the CBD, unlike most major cities this central station is not actually the main transport link. For that you will need to continue on to Roma Street Station.
Roma Street Station
The major station in Brisbane Roma Street is where all train lines pass through along with interstate/regional trains and the major bus station operates here. There are a number of accommodation options in walking distance to this station due to its role as a major entry point to Brisbane. The CBD is still walking distance from here and there are the spectacular Roma Street Parklands stretching out behind the station.
Fortitude Valley Station
Still in the inner city area, Fortitude Valley is home to a busy 4 platform terminal within the Valley Metro Complex. You’ll find Chinatown Mall, Brunswick Street Mall and the main night entertainment precinct all within a short walk. Passing through here are the Airport, Beenleigh, Caboolture, Cleveland, Doomben, Ferny Grove, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Springfield, Gympie and Shorncliffe lines.
South Bank Station
Ideally situated just back from the wonderful South Bank Parklands, this station sees trains pass through on the Beenleigh, Doomben, Shorncliffe, Airport, Cleveland and Gold Coast lines. A short walk from the station will take you to the South Bank Parklands, QPAC and the hipster suburb of West End.
Translink Go Card
The cheaper option to the almost completely phased out paper ticket system is the Translink Go Card; an electronic ticket that you can swipe as you get on and off public transport for hassle free travel. The card works on all public transport in Brisbane which includes buses, trains and the CityCat ferry services.
You can top up the balance of your Go Card at pay stations around major terminals then simply scan your card as you get on the train and when you get off. Your fare will automatically be deducted from the balance on your card and also display the remaining balance. There is no problem with using multiple transport routes and types, your Go Card will work out from the swipes that you are on one journey and charge you accordingly.
Brisbane's Airtrain offers the quickest and most reliable option to get from the Brisbane Airport to either the city centre stations (including Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Central Station, Roma Street, South Brisbane and South Bank) or suburban stops.
A one way ticket from the City to Brisbane Airport (or the other way around) will cost about $16. Destinations in Brisbane's CBD include:
- Bowen Hills
- Fortitude Valley
- Central Station
- Roma Street
- South Brisbane
- South Bank
Trains from the domestic and international airports run every 15 minutes from 5.45am (6am on weekends) until 10pm and they will take you to Brisbane City, Brisbane suburbs and the Gold Coast with most stops in between. A fast and affordable alternative to Airport Transfers.