Written by Peter CarterOctober 24, 2016
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is furious at the issues with Queensland Rail that unfolded on Friday, with 100 services being cancelled.
The disruptions are expected to continue work weeks across the CityTrain network as the understaffed service does not cope with the opening of the Moreton Bay Rail Link.
Ms Palazczuk said, “I don’t blame commuters for being furious as well.” “I want answers. I want answers and my minister wants answers.”
Ms Palaszczuk said Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe would brief cabinet on Monday on the issue, and about not having enough train drivers.
“I want to know, very clearly from the Queensland Rail board, how did this happen?” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“And why was my minister not notified about it at an earlier date?” As Mr Hinchliffe wasn’t notified until Thursday night.
Ms Palaszczuk has said that she was not ruling out someone losing their job over the fiasco.
“Because how did it get to this? It has been planned for many years about the opening of the Moreton Bay Rail Link,” she said.
“I understand the training must happen for the drivers but surely someone in Queensland Rail knew that this was going to be a problem and failed to alert higher up the line.”
Ms Palaszczuk said Mr Hinchliffe had advised her an extra 100 drivers were commissioned in 2015.
“They are coming online soon.” Queensland Rail chief executive officer Helen Gluer said on Monday, the normal timetable would operate and there were no further planned cancellations.
“There may, as is always the case, be alterations on the day, but there are no planned cancellations,” she said. And further ‘alterations’ may continue for two weeks.
From Tuesday, an interim timetable will be in place, which will involve fewer services, spread across the Queensland Rail network, to cope with not having enough workers.
“The interim timetable will be different from the existing timetable because with our current staffing arrangements we are unable to deliver that level of services,” she said.
She said the interim timetable would attempt to minimise impacts on the AM and PM peaks and spread services across the entire network.
There will be no buses replacing trains as part of the new timetable.
Ms Gluer said the interim timetable would be available for the public to view either later Sunday or Monday on the TransLink website.
“We need to get back to a reliable level of service as soon as possible,” Ms Gluer said.
“People need to be sure… that the train will get them there on time.
“At the conclusion of those two weeks we will be delivering our usual standard of service to a timetable that people can rely on.”
Ms Gluer said after delivering a reliable service, Queensland Rail would look at what went wrong.
“I am quite sure it will be a number of issues,” she said.