Friday, June 26, 2015

Skipping stations - time to tell the truth QR?

Not again! 
In the last year or so it has become common practice for Queensland Rail (QR) to make trains skip stations when running late, especially during the peak period. This allows the train to arrive at the terminus station within the margins to be deemed an "on time" statistic, and also allows for on-time running on subsequent journeys. This "on time" statistic is completely misleading for the customers who could not use that train service as it was bypassing their station. For the affected customers, who generally seem to be inner-suburban commuters, the "on time" train is effectively a cancellation, and a typical additional (and unacceptable) wait of around 15 minutes is not uncommon.

In Melbourne, where trains skipping stations is also a chronic issue, Metro Trains are finally being held to task. Station skipping data in Melbourne for the last 13 months was released by Public Transport Victoria in early May 2015. This showed 2119 services having been changed to an unscheduled express service within the 13 month period, with one month having 322 affected services.

Unfortunately in Brisbane, the station skipping statistics have not yet been released. BrizCommuter calls on QR and the Queensland Government to release these statistics as part of QR's on time running statistics. Commuters should be told the truth! In fact, whilst they are at it, what ever happened to the QR Passenger Load Survey which has also gone missing in action (again) for the last few years? Or is the flailing public transport patronage too difficult for successive Queensland Governments TransLink, and QR to admit to?


  1. I agree that the records should be kept but statistics on their own don't tell the full story.

    I used to catch the Cannon Hill or Cleveland line to/from Park Road (Shorncliffe line when going north). I was going the opposite direction to most people, travelling to Cannon hill in the morning and to Park Road of an evening. In a period of approximately 6 months I had about 6 trains either turned into express and speed by the station or turn into express trains while I was on them (the time was somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 pm). I was told by other passengers that Translink did this type of express switch so often that should just bite the bullet and put in an express train because it happens so frequently. The passengers said that the early afternoon Cleveland line always got delayed by the time it got to Cleveland, and was vital to the smooth running of peak hour, which is why it became express so frequently.

    I've also been on a Gold Coast (aka Varsity Lakes) line (south bound) that was turned into express all the way to Beenleigh (normally stopping at Park Road, Altandi and Loganleigh). This was only once and I feel was completely understandable as a Fortitude Valley station was stuck and trains had to turn around and congestion needed to be cleared.

    So yes, I would definitely like to see the statistics recorded, but I would also like the reason recorded. Constant Shorncliffe express trains bypassing most stations east of Park Road for "scheduling" should be identified so that the need for actual timetabled express trains can be quantified, while occasional express trains due to other one-off incidents don't "muddy the waters".

    Also - this is a great blog - thank you.

  2. I was fortunate enough to be on an "unexpected express" yesterday in the PM peak between Northgate and Geebung (missing Virginia and Sunshine stations).

    "We sincerely apologise for accidentally running exposure between Northgate and Geebung. Passengers for Sunshine and Virgina please move to platform 1 to catch a connecting train"

    I wonder where and how these "incidents" are reported and what are the implications for rail staff at fault?

    1. Every single week, at minimum, 1 train I'm on will skip past Geebung, Sunshine and Virginia. Every week


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