Thursday, December 15, 2016

QR's Unhappy New Year Timetable

QR axe even more train services!
Last Updated 28/12/2016

It has just been announced (on Thursday 15th December 2016) by the Palaszczuk government that SE Queensland's new fare structure will be introduced earlier than expected on Monday 19th December. Uh, oh, that means something else must be getting worse...

Due to Queensland Rail's (QR) ongoing lack of driver and train issues, SE Queensland and Brisbane commuters have been suffering from timetable cuts in the Interim timetable Mk1 and Mk2, frequent last minute cancellations, appalling customer information, and overcrowded train services. Many commuters have given up, and gone back to driving (including BrizCommuter on weekends). Now even more misery will be inflicted over the school summer holidays, with even more train service cuts. So what is the deal with QR's School Summer Holiday timetables?
  • QR's School Summer Holiday timetable will be introduced on Wed 28th December, and will run until Sunday 22nd January.
  • The government spin is that 11% of services will be reduced axed, as patronage is typically 22% less during this period.
  • The new timetable was only available on the journey planner from Wednesday 21st December, providing only one week notice to commuters to re-plan their journey. .pdf timetables are delayed further. 
  • The journey planner timetable is riddled with mistakes - unless the Caboolture Line really does have a 60 minute am peak gap! 
  • Peak will operate every 15 minutes during peak times on the Caboolture, Shorncliffe, Ferny Grove, Redcliffe Peninsula, Beenleigh, Gold Coast, Cleveland, Ipswich and Springfield lines - this is a disgraceful 50 to 60% cut in peak services on most train lines! 
  • Many peak period express services have been axed, resulting in slower journeys. 
  • Sunshine Coast, Rosewood and Doomben trains claimed to operate every 30 minutes during peak times - however there is a 60 minute early am peak gap on the Sunshine Coast Line. 
  • No changes to Airtrain services during this period.
  • Daytime 15 minute off-peak services have been cut back to every 30 minutes on the Ferny Grove, Beenleigh, and Cleveland Lines - 50% cut in daytime off-peak services. This is unacceptable due to the relative popularity off-peak travel in the holiday period. 
  • Given the current high frequency of last minute cancellations due to "operational issues", cuts to both peak and off-peak services is very concerning. If cancellations occur on top of a reduced frequency, passengers could be waiting on platforms for a very long time! 
BrizCommuter thinks that it is unacceptable to cut peak services by up to 60%, and off-peak services by up to 50%, when the expected patronage decrease is only 22%. Irrespective of the early introduction of the new fare structure, it is also unacceptable for TransLink to charge peak period fares for this infrequent peak service - it is almost verging on fraudulent!

Commuters have also still not been informed of when all services on the October timetable will be fully re-instated, or when improvements to the currently sub-optimal peak services will be improved by additional train crew and the belated introduction of the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains. Brisbane commuters have a good reason to have a very Unhappy New Year!

By the way, the acronym for School Holiday Interim Timetable is of course "SHIT"!

TransLink webpage:
https://translink.com.au/service-updates/109921

8 comments:

  1. makes you wonder what is going on in the backrooms at QR

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    Replies
    1. Probably burning copies of their customer charter.

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  2. "We apologise for the late cancellation of this service and any inconvenience this may cause"

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    1. These days you are lucky to even get an announcement for a cancelled or late train.

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  3. No express trains on the Ipswich line either. Hard to believe that this timetable is until January 22 as well? I could understand if it was just for the weekdays between Xmas and NYE, but every other railway in Australia is back to a normal timetable from January 3rd at the latest..

    I can imagine how fun it would be stopping all stations in from Ipswich in mid-January when the train is too physically full to pick up anybody else and has been for the last 10 stations!

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    Replies
    1. Completely agree. The "SHIT" timetable will result in crowded or even overcrowded services after the New Year break, with many commuters being late for work due to cuts and un-expressing of services. It is a disgraceful situation! QR's social media will be an interesting read on the 3rd Jan.

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  4. Gets better. Another round of cancellations has been announced for Christmas day and 'free' travel all day has been announced.

    Full affected services currently here: https://translink.com.au/service-updates/111116

    Of course, the SHIT are in full swing, with new cancellations being announced each day, and so for tomorrow, there is no guarantee that any of the currently announced services will actually turn up.

    SHIT has to be the best acronym I have seen developed to describe a situation :)

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  5. Till 22 Jan! It's a disgrace. I'm seriously contemplating driving to work and paying a fortune for parking. I'm sure others are too. And some will never come back to the trains. Well done, Qld government!

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