|Move down the aisles!|
The first thing that BrizCommuter noticed were QR staff doing the same thing - observing, and recording the loading of services affected by the new timetables. It seems that QR are serious about making sure the new timetables work effectively, and BrizCommuter expects that a few alterations will occur after travel patterns settle down, and more trains are available.
Anyway, back to the observations. Apart from 3 services, all trains departed Central with only a few standees per carriage, and often a few empty seats. Obviously some more passengers will join at CBD stations after Central, but these loadings are pretty good, and shows that the timetables have been very effective at reducing crowding on most services. The 5:16pm to Ipswich had around 20-40 passengers standing per carriage, but this is nothing too excessive for a "peak within a peak" service. Certainly in a few years time an extra pm peak services to Ipswich may well be required around 5:10pm. The 5:19pm to Petrie, and the 5:22pm to Nambour were both overcrowded with between 40-60 passengers standing in most carriages, although a few minutes gave late running would have added a few more passengers than usual. With two more CBD stations to take on more passengers, both services were in danger of leaving passengers behind by Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills. Although it is unrealistic to expect a train at around 5:20pm to have spare seats, the overcrowding on these two services is excessive for a brand new timetable. Suggestions as to how to solve this situation were suggested in last weeks blog post, so there is no need to repeat them here.
Not all pm peak services were observed, some excessive shoulder peak service gaps remain, counter peak frequencies could be better, and there may some am peak issues as well. However, in general overcrowding has been significantly reduced by the increase in peak frequencies. If QR can sort out the overcrowding on the 5:19pm to Petrie, and 5:22pm to Nambour, then the new timetables should be seen as a success.
Now roll on the new timetables (including 15 minutes off peak) for the other lines...