Sunday, May 19, 2013

Stage 2 timetables - delayed yet again?

Queensland Rail stage 2 timetable fail
It has been reported in the Rail Back on Track forum that according to informed sources, Queensland Rail's (QR) stage 2 (also known as sector 2 or phase 2) timetables may have been delayed yet again until 2014. The stage 2 timetables cover the Ferny Grove, Shorncliffe, Airport, Doomben, Cleveland, Gold Coast, and Beenleigh Lines.

Here is an updated history of the stage 2 timetable:
  • No revolutionary timetable changes since 1996 - that's 17 years!
  • Changes in 2008 improved the Gold Coast Line services, but stuffed up peak services for many users of the inner Ferny Grove, Cleveland, and Beenleigh Lines. For example, Enoggera and Gaythorne has 42% reductions in pm peak service!
  • At the first QR Community Reference Group (CRG) meeting, it was mentioned that new timetables would be introduced on all lines (in two stages) in 2010 - this didn't happen. 
  • During TransLink's stage 1 timetable consultation in late 2010 it was quoted on TransLink's website that the stage 2 timetables would be introduced in late 2011 - this didn't happen.
  • BrizCommuter complained to TransLink about the above delay in late 2011, and was told that stage 2 timetables would be introduced in early 2012 (for Ferny Grove duplication opening) - this didn't happen. 
  • There was even a QR CRG on the stage 2 timetables, but QR staff were reportedly unable to actually mention anything about the new timetables, including what to expect, or any timelines - how pointless!
  • 15 minute off-peak was introduced to Ferny Grove Line in Oct 2012 (6 months after the duplication opened), but was rather half-baked only being between 9am to 3pm on weekdays, with peak service frequencies often being worse! These changes also adversely affected timetables on some other parts of the network. 
  • Informed sources mentioned that stage 2 timetables would be implemented after Sandgate station upgrade in late 2013.
  • Reported by Rail Back on Track that stage 2 timetables now delayed until 2014. 
What problems are being caused by the continuing delays to stage 2 timetables?
  • Unacceptable peak direction service gaps of up to 23 minutes on the Ferny Grove, Beenleigh, and Cleveland Lines, up to 30 minutes on the Shorncliffe and Airport Lines, and up to 45 minutes on the Doomben Line. - evidence from QR passenger load surveys show adverse changes in the 2008 timetable have deterred the use of rail transport at some stations! 
  • Counter peak direction service gaps of 30 minutes or more on most lines.
  • Off-peak (in)frequencies of every 30 minutes - worse than Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth. 
  • Hourly frequencies late at night Mon-Thu, and on Sunday am on many lines - makes drink driving seem like an attractive option!
  • Out-of-sync connections with stage 1 timetable lines (Ipswich, Richlands, Caboolture) since June 2011. 
  • Confusing service patterns - even the 16km Ferny Grove Line has 4 different am peak service patterns. 
  • Inefficient use of core network infrastructure - aside from am peak services from Gold Coast, Beenleigh, and Cleveland Lines, there is still spare track capacity (20-33%) in the peaks. 
  • Does not take advantage of the $133m Ferny Grove Line duplication - for example some peak services still start or terminate at Mitchelton despite the bottleneck between Mitchelton and Ferny Grove being resolved more than a year ago!  
The continued delays to the stage 2 timetables, and lack of public information from the Queensland Government, TransLink, and QR is disgraceful, and displays huge contempt towards public transport users. During the period of this delay, multiple new timetables have been introduced in Melbourne. The failure of SE Queensland's public transport system continues. 


  1. I do not believe that the plans for Stage 2 timetables even exist.

    Saying it will be after the Sandgate upgrade is just another stall tactic to give false hope that something may eventually happen.

    How hard really is it to put out updated and improved timetables?

    If they do exist, they might be waiting until the end of the two year trial on the FG line.

  2. Cross River Rail should be started,instead of playing politics.Merivale Bridge going to be packed with trains trying to get across. Trouble rail seem to be politicial nothing gets none. Yes our public transport is in crisis, it always be if nothing gets none.You looks buses in the city now.

  3. Garvin - BrizCommuter is petty sure that the stage 2 timetables have existed in draft form for some time. There is no reason to keep delaying timetables until the next excuse. Most rail system introduce new timetables with significant changes every 6-12months. There is zero excuse for not having new timetables introduced at the completion of the Ferny Grove Line duplication in April 2012 to take advantage of new infrastructure. Likewise, zero excuse if new timetables are not introduced at the completion of the Sandgate upgrade.

  4. BzC, nice typo. Petty sure ;)

    I notice you say pretty sure, rather than certain or definitely :)


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