Latest rail bungle ruins NYE as Comm Games doubts surface
SUNSHINE Coast residents hoping to travel to the Commonwealth Games by train faced utter chaos unless the State Government addressed the poor management of Queensland Rail head on according to one rail expert who says heads must roll.
Retired rail travel consultant Ken Coulter said unlike Melbourne where services ran all night, all stations and all free, Translink could not even confirm what services were running to and from the Sunshine Coast on New Year's Eve.
He said plans to travel to Brisbane for the fireworks at Southbank had to be cancelled because TransLink couldn't confirm what trains would be running and its promise to resolve the issue with Queensland Rail and post online never eventuated.
Mr Coulter said the Palaszczuk Government needed to start again and sort the mess out before the Commonwealth Games.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey failed to respond to a question about whether he had confidence Queensland Rail could deliver services to the Sunshine Coast that would make rail a preferred Commonwealth Games transport option to using a private vehicle.
But a spokesperson said Queensland Rail was working closely with The Department of Transport and Main Roads to "finalise an integrated public transport model for South East Queensland, from Gympie to the Gold Coast, to manage increased demand during the Commonwealth Games for both spectators and their regular commuters, including those on the Sunshine Coast".
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The spokesperson said in addition to regular timetabled services QR provided two post-midnight New Year services to the Sunshine Coast departing Romas Street at 1.03am and 2.03am.
"I am advised by TransLink and Queensland Rail it appears that an error occurred with the TransLink Journey Planner which has since been rectified," the spokesperson said.
"They apologise for any confusion around the communication of these special event services."
Mr Coulter said at 2.30pm New Year's Eve he had checked post midnight services home from a planned trip to Southbank for the fire works.
"TransLink showed information about a train at 12.48 am ex Roma St but nothing made sense about this service on the website," he said.
"Translink site said to take a Redcliffe train and change at Eagle Junction and go to platform 4 for Clayfield. Then Caboolture to Nambour taking one hour 25 minutes arriving Eudlo at 2.41 am.
"Luckily as I use the trains to go to Brisbane I realised this information was totally incorrect.
"On Translink there was not a train showing from Roma St to Nambour until 2.03 am.
"So I phoned and no one there could make sense of the online information and said they would have to check with QR for the times when the trains would actually be operating and for me to check back on line to Translink in an hour."
No update appeared and Mr Coulter scrapped plans to go to Brisbane.
The Translink online site advised him to catch a 12.48am Redcliffe bound train to Eagle Junction and then to get off and go to platform four for the 1.16am connection to Clayfield.
There was then no advice as to what service would get him from Clayfield to Caboolture and onward up the North Coast line to Eudlo.