Wednesday, November 9, 2016

QR's Nundah Blunder

Nundah - 77% reduction in am peak train service
Last Updated Sat 12th Nov 2016 6:30am

Aside from passengers using the Redcliffe Peninsula Line, the vast majority of commuters have only seen service cuts in the last month due to Queensland Rail's lack of drivers and trains. Those who have suffered most are commuters at Nundah and Toombul. So what has gone wrong for commuters from these stations?
  • Until 4th Oct 2016, Nundah and Toombul received 22 trains per hour (tph) in the am peak (trains departing Nundah during hour from 07:10am) as these stations were served by most Caboolture/Petrie and Shorncliffe Line services. Off-peak services were every 15 minutes. 
  • From 4th Oct 2016, Nundah and Toombul were timetabled 8tph in the same am peak period. This was to allow Caboolture and Redcliffe Peninsula Lines to run express through "Inner North" stations, speeding up journey times for 10,000+ commuters using these lines. Whilst a 64% reduction, a train every 7.5mins was still deemed quite reasonable. 
  • Unfortunately since 4th October, the cancellations and overcrowded 3-cars services significantly impacted these services resulting in much longer than expected peak (15 minutes) and off-peak (30 minutes) waits between trains, and passengers reportedly being unable to board some overcrowded peak services. 
  • Timetable information was also confusing with the peak Northgate starting/terminating services missing from the 4th Oct Shorncliffe Line timetable, and initially being shown under the Caboolture Line on the journey planner timetable. They eventually showed up on the belated Inner North timetable. 
  • A handful of commuters from these stations having to change to/from Caboolture/Redcliffe Peninsula services have also been rather politically vocal about longer journey times. 
  • The extra Northgate services were also pushing track capacity through the CBD, at 22tph, often causing minor (but still annoying) delays to Ferny Grove, Shorncliffe, Airport, and Doomben Line services. 
  • The Interim Timetable Mk2 shows only 5tph in the am peak during the same period as mentioned above. This is a whopping 77% reduction in service. In addition to this massive cut in services, some of these remaining trains are overcrowded 3-car units. 
  • Weekend Northgate to CBD trains were secretly axed on 10th Nov 2016, replaced by Caboolture Line trains that now call at all Inner North stations. Given the lack of information, many weekend Inner North commuters will be completely unaware of this change. 
There is little question that Nundah and Toombul commuters have a very good reason to be annoyed with QR, and the successive incompetent governments that caused the current crisis. Given the amount of apartment development in Nundah, this is an unacceptable situation that is only going to add to road congestion as commuters give up on rail. It will be interested to see what happens to train services for these stations when things eventually return back to "normal" (which BrizCommuter pessimistically predicts sometime in late 2018).


  1. I would have thought that due to reductions in train movements, there's be enough trains to turn most 3-car units into 6 cars in the interim timetable.

  2. Well they were over serviced in the 2011 timetable to the detriment of the Caboolture line.

    With driver shortages they should be tiering the services more, not less.

  3. And now the Caboolture line is the most privileged on the network. Convert them back to Northgate-City all stations.. They're only half-full in the morning peak... It is disappointing that people living 10kms further away (from Petrie) have the same trip time...

  4. The Toombul/Nundah neighbourhood plan allows for medium density housing and a large part of this plan being approved is due to the proximity of the train stations. Like Nundah, Toombul (on both sides of Sandgate Rd) is undergoing further apartment development (one is almost alongside the railway at Toombul train station). It makes no sense to reduce the service and I can only hope the Caboolture line is reinstated. What used to be one of the most efficient and enjoyable train journeys is now a nightmare with overcrowded trains and long waits. And it is infuriating waiting 8 mins for an already packed train (7.46am) in the morning peak hour and watching 3 express trains go past the station in that time period with plenty of empty seats.


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