Sunday, January 24, 2016

Where are the Next Generation Rolling Stock trains?

NGR artist impression - the real one still doesn't exist yet!
The  January 2014 timetable added overcrowded 3-car services on the Ferny Grove and Cleveland Lines due to lack of trains. On Queensland Rail's (QR) Facebook page and Twitter, angry commuters were informed that these would be converted to 6-car services when the Next Generation Rolling Stock (NGR) were introduced into service in late 2015. Well it is now early 2016, and there is no sign of these new trains. Not even a single delivery of a test train. According to the Department of Transport and Main Roads website, the first delivery of the NGR is now mid 2016.

Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) is expected to open possibly as early as April 2016. This is likely increase rolling stock requirements as the the current Petrie services will be start or finish at Kippa-Ring, another 14km down the track. Also, there will be additional peak services running every 15 minutes running from Northgate to/from the CBD. Given that none of the "third world built" NGR trains have been delivered, let alone tested and debugged, BrizCommuter is very concerned that the lack of rolling stock issue is only going to get worse. Issues with the guard being moved to the back of the train may also throw a spanner in the works. From the opening of MBRL until there have been sufficient deliveries of the delayed NGRs, expect even more cancellations and 6-car services being replaced by overcrowded 3-car services. More misery for ripped off commuters!

Equally as concerning, is that not enough NGR trains (75 6-car units) have been ordered. Thus even when they have been delivered there will be barely enough trains to replace the existing ageing EMU (43.5 6-car units) and ICE (4ish 6-car units) trains, and cope with MBRL, the new Northgate services, and resolving the overcrowded 3-car service issue. Additional trains are also required for:
  • Improving the irregular pm peak frequency on the Ferny Grove Line
  • Improving the irregular am and pm peak Gold Coast Line service (also pending Helensvale to Coomera duplication)
  • Starting the 15 minute service to Brisbane Airport earlier in the morning
  • Extend the (bizarrely early finishing) pm peak express service on the Cleveland Line to run later.
  • Minor improvements to other lines (e.g. improved shoulder peak, and peak of peak services). 
  • Improved off-peak and counter peak services.
The above require a significant addition of new trains. Sadly it looks like SE Queensland train services are likely to continue to be far from optimal for some time due to an ongoing lack of trains.


  1. The train enthusiasts have noted that the first of the NGR sets should be arriving next month - one that I know of left the workshops overseas a few days ago, bound for Australia. So given the planned timeline of early 2016 for the arrival of the NGR sets, they are only a little bit late, but not as bad as it could be.

  2. So we might see them on the Opening Day of the MBRL!?

  3. Andrew A - doubt it! Testing and troubleshooting will take quite a few months.

    1. Yeah sure, it just goes to show you the dangers of buying trains from overseas, as some would like to call it 'off-the-shelf', doesn't it?

  4. Which lines did you have in mind for 'peak-of-peak'?

  5. Anonymous - Ipswich, Springfield, and Caboolture Lines could do with additional services during parts of the pm peak (particularly just after 5pm). They generally have a 12 min pm peak frequency, compared to 6 min am peak frequency.

  6. Difficult to see how the MBRL can open without these trains. Doubtless we're going to see a cluster ****.

    Extra trains probably wouldn't be needed to increase PM peak Ipswich or Cleveland trains if they can run a 6 minute Ipswich frequency in the AM peak.

  7. "Begin font Sarcastica"

    Forget about TRAINS - we have a new shed! PLEASE stop talking about unrealistic "timetables", "cross-river-rail", the unbelievable ineptitude of the bus system, the incredibly high price of travel, or new trains.

    You just don't understand this amazing news. WE HAVE A SHED!

    I mean, just think about it.... a shed. Maybe one day, of I save long enough and invest wisely I too can afford a shed. You can bet your bottom dollar that if I do, one wonderful day, get a shed, I'd be sharing a photo of it, just like this:

    "End font Sarcastica"


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