Monday, April 12, 2021

QR's 3-Car COVID Disgrace

Oh no!
Queensland Rail (QR) have been running 6-car peak services for a couple of years now. As Queensland is currently under COVID-19 restrictions after 2 clusters, you would expect that QR would make an effort to operate 6-car services as usual to allow for as much social distancing as possible? Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Today (Monday 12th April 2021) there have been multiple reports of overcrowded 3-car trains running during the peak period on the Ferny Grove and Shorncliffe Lines. BrizCommuter was unfortunate enough to be on the 4:26pm from Central to Ferny Grove, and counted at least 40 standing passengers in the first carriage. The rear carriage would probably be more crowded. This works out at approximately 2 passengers per square meter, totally unacceptable during a period of COVID-19 restrictions, and when there are still less passengers than usual using public transport. 

Just to make things worse, this 3-car train wasn't assigned to a "short" Roma Street to Ferny Grove service which are less busy as they run 7.5 minutes behind the preceding service. It was assigned to a busy Beenleigh to Ferny Grove service, 15 minutes behind the preceding service thanks to the Ferny Grove Lines irregular pm peak timetable. Questions need to be asked as to why Queensland Rail appear to have a shortage of trains yet again? Was it due to trains being stranded by weekend engineering works and not being able to be serviced? Or is there a more chronic issue? Why was a 3-car train assigned to a busier service? Whilst extremely unlikely, would commuters have grounds for legal action against QR if they caught COVID-19 due to QR's lack of rolling stock provision? 

No social distancing!

Thanks to the anonymous Instagrammer who sent BrizCommuter this photo of the overcrowded train!  This photo was taken after some passengers had alighted at Windsor and Wilston.