Friday, October 21, 2016

Redcliffe Peninsula Line - Queensland Rail's Epic Fail

A rarely spotted Queensland Rail service.
The recent situation of cancelled trains on Queensland Rail's (QR) SE Queensland train network worsened today with the cancellation of around 100 train services today, and the evening closure of two train lines due to lack of train crew. After weeks of misery for commuters, QR finally came out from the woodwork and admitted fault for the situation. QR's CEO Helen Gluer has been quoted as saying:

“The performance of Queensland Rail since the new Redcliffe Peninsula line has opened has been unacceptable and from our customer’s perspective, totally unacceptable.

We know now that we had unrealistic assumptions on how much train crew we did need to run this new timetable.

This is my fault, this is Queensland Rail’s fault and we had unrealistic expectations on what crew we needed to actually run this timetable.”

QR are apparently 20 train crew short of what is required to run the current timetable, which also has issues with a lack of trains as well. So who is fault for this situation?
  • QR for lack of forward planning. 
  • The LNP Newman Government for sacking driver trainers and freezing recruitment, plus delays to the NGR trains. It is alleged that the Newman government was planning on privatising QR and was setting it up to fail.  
  • The ALP Palaszczuk Government for not undoing the staffing issues from the Newman Government, even with a 6 month delay to Redcliffe Peninsula Line.  
  • The ALP Bligh Government for not ordering extra previous generation trains. 
This is a classic example of the incompetence of three successive Queensland governments from both sides of politics, as well as poor planning by QR. This has resulted in Brisbane's train network being the laughing stock of Australia yet again. Insider sources are mainly pointing the finger at the LNP Newman government razor gang as the main source of this debacle. 

Is the situation going to improve soon? Sadly, things are likely to get worse. QR have announced that they will introduce an interim timetable until they can train enough new train crew, which could take a year! Expect cuts to peak services causing overcrowding and full trains, and expect 15 minute off-peak frequency to be cut back to "third-word" 30 minute off-peak frequencies. Don't expect any improvements to train services (such as later running Cleveland Line expresses) when enough NGR trains start running. BrizCommuter will blog on the interim timetable and associated service cuts when they are announced over the next few days.  

Maybe a free fare week, or huge cut in fares is required to compensate commuters? There is no question that Brisbane commuters are sick and fed up with the ongoing situation. 

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