Monday, September 24, 2018

2 Years of Rail Fail - No End in Sight!

QR's Rail Fail - Unhappy 2nd Birthday
Queensland Rail's (QR) Rail Fail (#RailFail) started on the 30th September 2016, just before the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line. Rail Fail was a result of insufficient train drivers to operate the October 2016 timetable. The cause and ongoing delays in the resolution of Rail Fail have been caused by a combination of:
  • Driver recruitment being stopped, and driver trainers being reduced under the destructive LPN Newman government (who were allegedly planning to privatise NGR operated train services).
  • Organisation incompetence within QR, including ignoring external advice that the October 2016 timetables were not feasible. 
  • The Palaszczuk ALP government bumbling along with fixing the problem.
  • QR's board for signing off an EBU (with changes to drivers meal breaks) just before the Strachan inquiry into Rail Fail was handed down. 
  • The Rail Tram and Bus Union for trying to prevent external driver recruitment. 
  • Poor relationship between Department of Transport and Main Roads (TransLink) and QR.
  • The Citytrain Reponse Unit for doing, erm, not much. 
After 2 years of Rail Fail, the net gain in driver sits at little more than 40 drivers. The result of this highly unimpressive gain in drivers has resulted in:
  • The continuation of over 330 train services each week being cancelled.
  • Friday "Fail Day" with different timetables to Monday to Thursday, and more cancellations. 
  • Peak service gaps of up to 30 minutes (or 60 mins for the Doomben Line).
  • "Breaking" of the 15 minute daytime off-peak services (which was limited enough in the first place". 
  • Up to 60 minute off-peak service gaps.
  • The totally inadequate School Holiday Timetables with up to 60% of peak services being cancelled, up to 50% of off-peak services being cancelled, and "third world" hourly weekend services. This particular impact may now be resolved. 
  • The embarrassing Commonwealth Games timetables that resulted in abysmal train service for anyone that didn't use the Gold Coast Line. 
  • An increase in trains being expressed past stations to meet QR's KPIs. 
  • A decline in rail patronage from many stations, even more so when taking into account population growth. 
  • A decline in Brisbane's liveability ranking. 
  • Misleading excuses for delays and lack of transparency further decreasing QR's credibility.
  • Rail Fail may also be a contributory factor towards the slow rollout of NGR trains.  
Unfortunately, the Queensland Government, QR, and the Citytrain Response Unit are all refusing to let commuters known when Rail Fail will be fixed. This was originally touted by Citytrain Response Unit as being in late 2019, before this estimate went missing in action in subsequent publications. BrizCommuter is estimating full recovery of the October 2016 timetable sometime in 2020 - 4 years late. Even the mythical 2016 timetable is far behind the high frequency service frequencies that commuters in Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney have enjoyed for many years. Thus Brisbane and SE Queensland will continue to have a substandard train service that is damaging Brisbane's reputation  and liveability well into the next decade. If further driver recruitment is not sustained, and further trains are not ordered soon, then the opening of Cross River Rail will be the next major failure on the horizon, as the proposed service provision will not be possible. And lets not get started on NGR Fail!  

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are reviewed before being published, and it may take a few days for comments to appear. If comments do not add to the conversation, or are just plain stupid, they will not be published.