|Axed train services|
- For three weeks post-Redcliffe Peninsula opening, there we up to 100 cancellations per day, often at short notice causing angst to commuters who could no longer rely on trains turning up. Many commuters were unhappy about cancelled or overcrowded trains, resulting in commuters being late to work, education, appointments, or picking up children from daycare.
- An interim timetable was introduced last Tuesday, with between 30 to 50 trains axed per weekday. Poor communication of changes, confusion with different timetables for Mon-Thu and Friday, and overcrowded services either side of cancelled trains (sometimes 3-car unit trains).
- Despite the interim timetable, further cancellations have occurred, including a considerable number of cancellations on Sunday 30th October.
- Poor reliability of outbound Redcliffe Peninsula Line services due to signalling, driver training, timetable, and poor track layout at Kippa-Ring.
- Minor late running of many lines through the CBD, due to additional "Inner North" services from Northgate to CBD pushing the limits of signalling and track capacity.
- Political fallout from the reduction in frequency at Nundah, Toombul, Wooloowin, and Albion due to Caboolture and Redcliffe Peninsula Lines running express through these stations. These services are still missing off the Shorncliffe Line timetable.
- Ongoing overcrowding on Ferny Grove, Shorncliffe, and Cleveland Lines due to running of 3-car units in the peak period due to lack of trains.
- Ongoing sub-optimal timetables on many lines (e.g. early finish of evening express services on Cleveland Line) due to lack of trains and drivers.
- Infrequent (30 minute gap) counter-peak and off-peak services on the Ipswich, Springfield, Caboolture, and Redcliffe Peninsula Lines.
- Bligh ALP government failed to order additional SMU 260 series trains (which ceased production in 2011), against QR's advice.
- Newman LNP government delayed order of New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains, reduced order from 100 to 75 trains, and made design decisions that have delayed the introduction of the NGR trains into service.
- Under the Newman LNP government, around 50% of driver trainers were allegedly made redundant or demoted. There was also a recruitment freeze, despite requirement for more staff to run planned improved trains services.
- Whilst under the Palaszczuk ALP government, driver recruitment re-started, the lack of driver trainers, and more than 12 months required to train drivers was an achilles heel in training enough drivers.
- Drivers unable to be properly trained on the Redcliffe Peninsula Line until only a week before opening.
- Change to rosters to allow a 20 minute break every 2.5 hours, and limits of 12 straight days working in a row reduced staff availability.
- QR had an unrealistic/incorrect estimation of staffing requirements.
- QR forged ahead with a full timetable (extending Petrie services to Kippa-Ring/Redcliffe) when realistically a shuttle service may have been more appropriate for the first few months. However, the latter would have caused political embarrassment due to poor services. A no win situation!
- Inexperienced QR Board. Maybe QR need BrizCommuter (or at least a knowledgeable commuter/public transport advocate) on the Board?
- A Transport Minister either not on top of his portfolio, or being kept in the dark by QR. The average Rail Back on Track forum member knew more about what was going on that the Transport Minister!
- Legacy continuation of having two train crew (unlike Melbourne and Perth), and internal recruitment process from guards to drivers.
- Unknown timeframe for when the axed services on the interim timetables will be returned.
- Unknown timeframe for when there will be enough NGR trains to extend overcrowded 3-car services to 6-cars.
- Unknown timeframe for when there will be enough NGR trains and drivers to improve peak services (e.g extend pm peak Cleveland Line expresses, additional "peak of the peak" services on many lines, etc).
- Unknown timeframe for when there will be enough drivers to improve off-peak services on Ipswich, Caboolture, and Redcliffe Peninsula Lines.
- No decision on the horizon for ordering more NGR trains - BrizCommuter estimates that 7 to 13 more NGR trains need to be ordered now!
Failures due to successive incompetent governments, from both sides of politics, as well as poor decision making by QR has created the catastrophe for train commuters in Brisbane and SE Queensland. Commuters are in the dark as to when things will improve, something which both QR and the state government need to reverse. Financial compensation for commuters also needs to be seriously considered due to lack of adequate service delivery.
Political failure, thought-bubble ideas, and tit-for-tat games has also resulted in delays to Cross River Rail, failure of Brisbane's Bus Network reform in 2013, and ill thought out proposals such as the Brisbane Metro. Unless Brisbane's politicians have a serious kick up the posterior, then Brisbane's public transport system will continue to be an embarrassment for SE Queensland residents and businesses.