Monday, May 16, 2016

MBRL and NGR delayed again?

Moreton Bay Rail Link

The Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) was semi-officially expected to open in March 2016, then April 2016, then sometime before the Ekka 2016. Now it seems to be a case of who knows when. Rumoured (and not verified) reasons for the delays are based on signalling system issues, and power supply issues. Anywhere else in the world the press would be onto Queensland Rail (QR) and Department of Transport and Mains Roads (TMR) who are responsible for the project to find out what is going on, but not in Queensland where the press seem to generally be clueless around public transport issues. The delay to MBRL not only affects potential train passengers, but is also delaying the introduction of new and improved bus routes around the MBRL catchment, and the opening of new cycleways to help break the car-reliance of the North Lakes area. It would be appreciated if QR, TMR, or TransLink could tell the public what was going on, but they seem to be a bit quiet.

Of course, the delay may also be due to lack of trains...

Next Generation Rollingstock 

As previously discussed on this blog, QR's press department claimed back in January 2014 that the Next Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains would be in service in late 2015 to solve the overcrowding problems on many lines. So far only one has been delivered, and it is not even known if the second is even being shipped from India to Australia. This is of course no surprise to BrizCommuter who predicted that the first NGR train was going to be beset with "teething issues". These "teething issues" seem to be so bad that other than it's diesel train hauled trip from the Port of Brisbane to Wulkuraka Depot, it hasn't been seen outside of the train shed. Manufacturing issues are not surprising given that India is not exactly renowned for having a quality manufacturing industry. BrizCommuter is sure that many workers in Maryborough are saying "we told you so".

Even when the concerning manufacturing and reliability issues are ironed out, there is also another elephant in the room. The NGR are fixed 6-car units. This means that guard may have to change position from the middle of the train to the back. This has a stack of issues including raised platforms being in the wrong place, disabled passenger platform waiting location, and potential staffing/union issues. BrizCommuter would not be surprised if this may also add delays to the NGR project, though the delays to the NGR entering service may provide more time for a solution. There are also rumours that the Newman Government made some odd fit out decisions related to the guards requirements that are adding delays to the trains readiness.

As usual, the press have failed to pick on both of these problems. BrizCommuter would not be surprised if we do not see the NGR in regular passengers service until at least late 2016. This also means that the overcrowding issues on the Ferny Grove and Cleveland Lines are expected to not be resolved until well into 2017.  Not good news for commuters.


  1. Why isn't the press picking up on this. Every time i come back from a first world city (like Hong Kong) the Australian public transport feels so grotty, old and inefficient. Sure we are no "Bombay express", but we aren't at 1st world standards either. Considering the price we are paying I just don't get it.

  2. I'd be betting on Moreton Bay Rail Link opening in: never!

  3. Finally in the news!

  4. After the first batch of 75 new six car sets are finished, its fair to say in my view, the timeline is a bit more lenient to allow the local manufacturing of another 25 sets. It makes quite a lot of economic sense to resume local investment.


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