Tuesday, July 25, 2023

QR's 3-car-maggedon strikes again

Overcrowded 3-car train

BrizCommuter has had a long break, as there are only so many times you can keep complaining about the never ending incompetence of Brisbane and SE Queensland's public transport system. However, Queensland Rail's (QR) latest crisis has caused BrizCommuter to come out of hibernation. 

Back in 2014, BrizCommuter reported on chronic issues with 3-car peak services after the 2014 timetable changes. This took half a decade to fix, Even then, the inadequate NGR train order prevented the addition of services to the gaping holes in the 2014 timetables (such as the 15 minute gaps in the Ferny Grove and Cleveland Line's pm peak timetables). Successive failures by the Bligh and Newman governments to order enough trains, and failure of the Palaszczuk government to order trains for Cross River Rail (CRR) before its opening, means that yet again, QR does not have enough trains.

With a combination of insufficient trains, unreliable 40 year old EMU trains on life support, and the botched NGR trains having to be sent to Maryborough for modifications, QR have had to return to running a large number of train services with 3-car trains - half the usual train length. This is resulting in overcrowded and uncomfortable journeys for commuters on many lines, with the Ferny Grove "misery line" appearing to be the worst affected. Sources on Reddit claim that this issue may be due to industrial action by depot staff.

In a recent Channel 10 interview, MP Mark Bailey claimed that the 3-car services were due to "flu season". This claim is rubbish, as 3-car trains use the same train crew numbers as 6-car trains. Both Queensland Rail and the Queensland Government need to come clean on the cause of the current issues, plus:

  • When will the current 3-car train crisis will be resolved?
  • With no new trains arriving until at least late 2026 (more likely sometime in 2027) after CRR opens - will train services get worse on existing train lines (reduction in train length and frequency) when CRR opens?

It is obvious that things are only going to get worse before they get better. The current situation should be ringing alarm bells for the 2032 Olympic committee!