Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Queensland Rail's Cancellation Disgrace

Operational issue = not enough drivers
Updated Monday 17th October 2016

More than a fortnight ago BrizCommuter reported on Queensland Rail (QR) cancelling over 50 train services in one day, with little or no notice to waiting passengers. This was found to be due to there being a lack of drivers available, as a result of driver training on the new Redcliffe Peninsula Line. The situation has continued with more than 200 train services cancelled over the last few weeks. This unacceptable situation includes:

  • Daytime off-peak commuters on the Ipswich, and Springfield Line have had to endure waits of up to 60 minutes between train services.
  • Evening off-peak commuters on nearly all trains lines have had to endure waits of up to 60 minutes between services.
  • Services to Nundah and Toombul, already cut under the new timetables, have been cut even further due to cancellations. 
  • Services after full 3-car services cancelled, forcing passengers unable to board having to wait even longer. 
  • Very short notice of some cancellations (on TransLink's website and app). Surely even a few days notice can be provide?
  • Inconsistent or no information on Queensland Rail's social media. (Trying to hide something QR?)

The big question is, why do QR not have enough drivers (and/or guards) to cope with the driver training for the Redcliffe Peninsula Line? With the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains and Redcliffe Peninsula Line being delayed by a year, and half a year respectively, you would have thought that QR would have plenty of time to have employed and train sufficient new train crew? Are Newman era cuts still affecting QR more than 20 months later? Why was the train line opened with insufficient drivers trained - political decision?

With the NGR trains expected to enter service in (very) late 2016, or early 2017, BrizCommuter is concerned that there won't be enough train crew to allow for driver training without cancelling even more train services. There may not even be enough drivers to allow for improved services (such as the urgently required extension to Cleveland Line pm peak express services) once the first few NGR units have been delivered.

BrizCommmuter would like there to be an inquiry into this situation, and for commuters to receive compensation (such a free travel day) as would occur in the UK in such circumstances. Brisbane's long suffering commuters expect better than the current contempt from QR and TransLink!

1 comment:

  1. The good news is that in no way does a cancelled service affect KPI performance data. In fact, this improves all the Translink KPIs. This is fantastic news for public transport... according to the KPIs. If a train that is cancelled or switches to express (skip stations due to poor scheduling), then any missed station isn't late, is it?

    A failure to supply a service is not refundable either, so if someone arrived a the station, waited for their train, saw it was cancelled and left for other transport means - too bad so sad, if you swipe you have to pay.

    Sorry if I'm grouchy but I got onto a QR Train during rain and now we are stopped between stations due to signaling faults for a short while (gotta hand it to them, they have a sense of humor). I'm grouchy because delays due to "rain" (typical weather for spring) are not refundable, nor do they affect KPIs (even if they can't get me to my destination). If they hadn't legislated themselves out of all liability I would attempt to recoup the costs of my monthly delays.


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