Thursday, October 12, 2017

NGR Fail - 600 Days and Questions for Mr Nicholls

NGR - 600 Days and Not in Service
Today was the 600th day anniversary of the first of the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains arriving in Queensland. Due to a project failure of epic proportions, these trains are still not in passenger service. The NGR trains were ordered under the one-term LNP Newman government, who also laid the foundations for Rail Fail by ordering a recruitment freeze ahead of the implementation of 15 minute off-peak services and the Redcliffe Peninsula Line. It is well known the NGR trains were ordered without guard accommodation, as the intention was for the trains to be Driver Only Operated (DOO). This was a polar opposite of the EBA that was in place for train crew. So how were the LNP Government going to get around this? It is also well known that QR has limited involvement with the design of the NGR trains. Well it seems that there are a few questions for current QLD LNP opposition leader Mr Tim Nicholls MP to answer:

  • Were the LNP planning on the NGR trains to be run by a private company?
  • Was this private company going to use DOO trains on the QR network?
  • Was this private company going to poach train drivers from the already understaffed QR?
  • Was the recruitment freeze a plan to setup QR to fail?
  • Why was the NGR business case not released? 
  • Are public servants too scared to speak up about the LNP's secret plans, as they could loose their jobs if the LNP got back in power?
  • Why were the disabled toilets in the NGR trains designed to not meet legal requirements?
BrizCommuter has run many a blog post about the LNP's other destructive public transport policies, such as axing Cross River Rail for the ill-thought out BaT Tunnel which has set back CRR by over half a decade (or even permanently if the LNP get back in power). There is no question that QR had serious internal issues irrespective of the government in power, and that the ALP Palaszczuk have done a half-arsed job with Rail Fail service recovery thanks to Union pressure. In fact, BrizCommuter is not adverse to QR Citytrain being privatised, but it needs to be done by honest and transparent methods. However, if it appears that the LNP were planning on privatising QR by stealth, by getting a private company to run the NGR trains with different safety rules and staff agreements, then it appears that the LNP cannot be trusted with public transport. 

If the LNP get back in power before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, then they will have egg on their face when services have to be axed to lack of NGR trains and drivers. With the LNP being more concerned with privatising train services than improving train services, expect the pain of the Rail Fail to continue well into the next decade if they win the next Queensland state election. 


  1. 1) RE your last point, LNP will blame ALP, who will blame LNP and visa versa ad infinitum. But that will happen no matter who gets into power. It's far easier to place blame than to take responsibility. Responsibility doesn't mean accepting blame for the cause of the situation, but instead taking reasonable measures to resolve the situation.
    2) "Was the recruitment freeze a plan to set up QR to fail?". I highly doubt it. They had massive cuts and freezes across the board in all areas of public service. I don't think it can be argued that the same action that was happening everywhere else had a specific agenda within this one sector (unless mass privatisation was planned). For instance, when they came in they offered a freeze to fair increases which had to be funded somehow. That said, their other actions you outline do support your theory.
    3) Disabled toilets - this and the disability accessibility issues are disgraceful and, in my opinion, unacceptable. A society can be morally judged by how ethically it treats it's minorities. This failure is not just unacceptable, it shows multiple levels of governance failures.

  2. I would like to congratulate QR executive for winning an on-time bonus. The ability for patrons to get onto a train has no impact on on-time statistics and therefore the bonuses were were gained by implementing station skipping, against internal staff concerns. Logic dictates that QR would be considering skipping all stations, ensuring they will have a 100% on time measure and reduce on-board complains and on-board security issues to zero. Well done QR, well done.

  3. We await your blog update on Translink/Department of Transport and Main Roads putting the ngr's into service without the ahrc exemption.


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