Friday, March 16, 2018

April Timetable Confusion!

Nine April timetables just for
the Ferny Grove Line!
A wave of confusion is taking over SE Queensland commuters ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018). In most cities hosting sporting events, extra train services are operated on top of the existing timetable. Unfortunately in the Banana State, in the midst of #RailFail, NGR Fail, and everything else Fail, we will be seeing an overall 6% reduction in train services to handle the 6 million increase in journeys. As only the Gold Coast Line will be seeing service enhancements, many train lines will be seeing a 50% cut in train services. Just to add to the confusion, commuters will be faced with multiple different Queensland Rail (QR) timetables during April.

Here is an example of one line - the Ferny Grove Line:

  • 30th March to 2nd April - Easter timetable - "third world" hourly services. 
  • 3rd to 4th April - Rehashed Summer Holiday Interim Timetable (SHIT) with 50% services reduction during parts of the peak and off-peak periods.
  • 5th to 15th April - GC2018 Timetable with all services terminating at Roma Street, 50% service reductions during parts of the peak and off-peak periods, and abysmal hourly weekend services.
  • 16th to 20th April - Return of the SHIT - expect severe overcrowding as the school holidays and GC2018 will have ended. 
  • 21st April onwards - #RailFail Timetable - with 330(ish) axed train services, and the weekly joy of "Friday Fail Day".
It is no surprise that commuters will be very confused as to how to get to work, go out, or even get to the Games with so many timetable changes. Some of BrizCommuter's work colleagues have given up, and will just drive instead, which somewhat defeats the purpose of public transport. Others have just taken time off, fleeing the "State that political competence forgot". BrizCommuter has received reports of GC2018 spectators regretting getting tickets to events as the public transport situation is so bad, especially on weekends with hourly connecting train services on most lines. Even some GC2018 volunteers are thinking of quitting at the last minute due to the looming transport nightmare. Adding to the mess, is that the popular park and ride at Beenleigh is not bookable, and cannot guarantee spaces. The recent 8 hour suspension of the Ferny Grove Line after some light rain short circuited a cable, and doors "falling off" NGR trains is not exactly filling commuters with confidence. 

As predicted by BrizCommuter back in November 2016, the transport situation for GC2018 is likely to be a disaster. Only a stroke of luck will avoid total embarrassment for Queensland and Australia. It would be hoped that international embarrassment will provide a kick up the posterior to Queensland politicians to sort out SE Queenland's failing public transport system. but they are so stuck in the Land of Spin that is unfortunately unlikely. Whilst politicians will hail a "success", comments of QR and TransLink's social media will tell the real story. 


  1. And it gets better. So far, taking into account retirement etc, a staggering 16 extra drivers have been added to the pool. QR are spinning it as 69.

    1. No - that 16 net is not just retirement. It turns out you actually need drivers to teach other drivers. So the more drivers they teach in one intake, the more drivers are pulled from passenger services. This is one of the few times I pity the catch 22 they are in.


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