Sunday, April 9, 2017

QR's Easter Rail Fail - The Backlash Begins

Queensland Rail - Not many trains this Easter
BrizCommuter has reported on Queensland Rail's (QR) Easter Rail Fail with unacceptable hourly train services over two weekends, in a few recent blog posts - here, here, and here.

QR and TransLink's contempt for the travelling public has been displayed in responses to complaints about the timetable, such  as this example:

"These changes have been put in place to ensure reliable services and to give certainty to commuters, while helping to manage our resources.  We know that 68 percent fewer people travel by rail over the Easter long weekend. With that in mind, hourly services on most lines will ensure reliability and certainty, while still delivering an adequate frequency for the decreased demand"

Hourly services are not adequate in the slightest, irrespective of demand - people still have to get to/from work, university, shopping, family, events, and entertainment. That is why every other urban rail system in Oceana is running trains between every 10 to 30 minutes. Even Adelaide and Wellington have more frequent train services than Brisbane! To then classify the service changes as "minor" is quite insulting to the travelling public. Are QR and TransLink living a parallel universe of delusion and spin?

Not surprisingly, there has already been a lot of backlash on QR and TransLink's social media (Facebook and Twitter) - not helped by multiple late running trains on Saturday 8th April (none of which were reported on-line by TransLink). As QR conveniently keep deleting their Facebook posts and thus negative comments, BrizCommuter has kindly archived some of them below:

"It's taken me 3 hours to get from Bethania to Nundah due time timetable changes.
I've just lost a $100 job now as I have missed my appointment. I only allowed 1.5 hours to travel this short distance.
I feel like moving away to a real city with modern services.
Brisbane is a second rate city with third rate transportation.
The slowest, over priced trains I have seen anywhere.
What a rip off!"

"Rosewood train 15 minutes late?! You have less services and you still can't run on time. Great, thanks. Incompetence."

"Wow! Trains running hourly on the ipswich line for the next two weekends hey? Thanks for the signs and announcements, not! Not like I'm trying to get to work. Which I'm now going to be late for because u didn't bother to let anyone know about this. Typical bloody Translink and QR. I will be writing a formal complaint about this. Not impressed!"

"How do you guys manage to have hourly trains STILL run late.
Also why have less trains (on school holidays) when there's more people? 
Someone needs to be bloody sacked."

Or maybe pay me back the hours pay I lost (essentially a $30 ticket) to get to my destination in the first place."

"Joke Translink. What other cities change trains to run hourly. No wonder we get called the nanny state. Not enough drivers and saving $'s more like it."

"It's got nothing to do with reduced patronage. That is a complete distraction. It's got everything to do with poor planning over years which has resulted in a shortfall in drivers. Disgusting."

"If you're going to change the trains to hourly without warning could you at least make sure the train comes on time and not have an announcement that the the train is 10 minutes late as it arrives. It was kind of evident that the train was 10 minutes late when it arrived 10 minutes late."

"Many people took the 4.46 train from Central Station to Redcliffe Peninsula and got off the train at Bowen Hills because of the speaker saying that it was express from Bowen Hills to Northgate stopping only at Eagle Junction and it wasn't true!! Stopped all stations!!!!"

"Not happy QR last time I had to worry about ever missing a train and having to wait an hour would have been the 1990's! Those used to a 15 minute service are now 30mins! I heard this happens again Easter weekend too. Lord help those on the Sunshine Coast line, I believe it is two hours between services. Sharpen up QR!"

"Shout out to all those uni students which have mid semester exams on saturdays - they still need to get in and out of uni and running trains hourly is a huge inconvenience. Imagine if an hourly train gets cancelled - they will have to wait two hours to get to uni and will likely miss their exam. I understand reduced services for holidays, but it doesn't make sense when it is only school holidays and not public holidays? Uni students and workers still need to get in and out of the city....not happy at all "

"Why are pax told to detrain at Yeerongpilly on Corinda via Yeerongpilly services?"

"QR, the only place you pay full price for the privelidge of inconvenience."

"Yay to my 4 hour trip tomorrow! With my 57 min wait. thanks translink."

"Over priced, unreliable & no concept of customer service... 
Yep, that's Queensland Rail!"

"Fantastic work Translink, 58minute wait at the station for my train to the Gold Coast, the schedule isn't just hourly it isn't even the same normal times, great work! You're in Public Transport, you don't see Airlines creating a special Easter Schedule, they hire appropriate numbers of staff to handle it!"

"I'm disgusted. Don't have occasion to use the trains much but trying to get to Southbank and back was just awful. You can do better than this. Brisbane deserves better."

"It's great when Brisbane hosts a world class event like the Davis Cup, encourages visitors to use the train network to get to the venue, then cancels half the trains so we can sit at Park Road for 50 minutes. Hourly trains are not good enough, and you wonder why patronage is down??"

"Left work early so I could get home at a reasonable time and actually see my kids, knowing that if I didn't, I'd be waiting over 50 minutes for my train. Train turns up late anyway. Can't wait till next weekend when I get to deal with this nonsense all over again."

"I was shocked when I found this out today. The funny thing is the 500 bus leave 4 mins before the train is due so you have to wait another hour for a bus home. If the trains changes should the buses not change to meet the trains. Why does this not happen."

"Yeah pity about the extra hour it'll take me to get home though because of the infrequency of services."

"Normal high fares and service levels below the already subpar levels!"

"I see Coles are advertising on TV Every Checkout Open this Weekend from 10am to 6pm 8th & 9th April 2017. Where was Queensland Rail's TV advertising telling us that you have reduced services for this very same weekend and passengers may also miss train and bus connections due to the changed passenger train tables. Queensland Rail > " We aim to be Australia's best performing railway delivering safe, on time, customer-focused and efficient rail services." Can you please let us know when you plan on delivering on this statement."

"Thank you Translink, I'm late for work again"

Bit of a disaster isn't is QR and TransLink? And it's not even the Easter weekend yet!


  1. My observation - the delays may be due to non-standard drivers on routes. One line had multiple over-shoots where an express train didn't remember to stop at the station and had to reverse back to it. I can only guess that this and similar issues caused the delays.

    On my line (Airport/Gold Coast) the number of services is mostly unaffected, and patronage is at about 90% based on car park being almost at capacity on GC line and people are still standing from Coomera north, about 10-15 people standing in each carriage by Park Road. No complains from me (as my times are not affected), but there is little decrease in passengers - The excuses don't stack up.

    Given reports of skipped stations I went to look at the stats, but the stats must be so bad they can't be released. There is no data from October 2016 - 6 months late and counting, even though I see people recording the data daily.

  2. Good news at last. Cross River Rail has an independent, well informed person appointed as deputy chair. It is good to know that someone would be appointed who has arms-length relationship to the government, and no direct or indirect responsibility for delays to Cross River Rail and the current rail fail. My sarcasm meter just broke.

    1. Having Paul Lucas as chair will probably increase the chance of the LNP killing off the CRR project when they inevitably win the next election.

  3. If the orders to wipe negative comments from translink's and QR's social media pages are coming from the minister herself, then this is classic Trad. From what I have heard, she has some difficulty accepting negative feedback. I remember a comment made on a Brisbane Times feed at the time of the election of the Palazuk(?) government and it was to the effect of "Anna, watch your back, Trad want's your job." Emerson had his faults, but overwhelming arrogance wasn't one of them (backbone? I'll get back to you on that one)

    1. It may just be that QR are "innocently" updating (delete, then add new post) their Facebook post on the changes with new information. However, there is not reason why they couldn't just add a whole new post and leave the older posts (with negative comments) lower down the page. I think the removal of the negative comments does more damage to QR than if they admitted they've screwed up and left them there. As mentioned in the blog post it seems that QR, TransLink, and the QLD Government are in a parallel universe of spin and denial.

    2. I just went to their facebook and the comments on the Easter timetable are anything but positive and are not going anywhere. Many of the posts repeat the same issue - Saturday and Sunday are not public holidays so why the change? The response (where issued) is mostly copy and paste and is to the point it barely aligns with the comment.

  4. Just received an invite in the mail to have lunch with Jackie Trad tomorrow.
    Should I go?

    What to ask?
    What to wear?
    Decisions, decisions....

    1. What to ask: Irrelevant, you will get an answer to the question that she wanted you to ask, not the question you actually asked.

    2. Had I received a reply before the day of the lunch, I might have gone and even passed on a few questions from here.
      But as there was no reply in time, I gave it a miss.


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