Queensland Rail will implement an extra 430 services and upgrade 59 existing services from three-carriages to six-carriages, in a move that will add 200,000 seats across South East Queensland each week from Monday, 29 July 2019.
This follows a number of incremental improvements already delivered for customers, including the introduction of 32 priority peak services each week and 14,000 seats from May 2019 and 193 three-carriage upgrades and 46,000 extra seats from December 2018.
Queensland Rail’s CEO Nick Easy, said the next stage of improvements scheduled for 29 July would restore train services to the level which was planned to be introduced with the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line in late 2016, reinstating the most timetabled services in South East Queensland’s (SEQ) history.
“From 29 July, Queensland Rail will restore the 8,290 services per week which were promised for commuters with the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line, representing a 5.5 per cent increase on today’s service levels,” Mr Easy said.
“On top of that, through the ongoing rollout of the New Generation Rollingstock fleet, a further 59 existing services will be upgraded from three-carriages to six-carriages, with a total of 200,000 extra seats to be introduced.
“These extra services will provide 85 additional trains in peak times each week, when the majority of our customers are travelling, and will restore an extra 142 services each Friday to provide a consistent timetable Monday to Friday.
“An incredible amount of work has taken place behind the scenes to ensure Queensland Rail can deliver these improvements for customers reliably and sustainably, underpinned by the largest driver recruitment and training program in Queensland Rail’s history.
“Since October 2016, this program has seen an incredible 172 new drivers complete their training and enter supply since October 2016, representing a net increase of 105 (as at 16 June 2019).
“A further 79 trainee drivers are currently in training, and we will continue to focus on a pipeline of talent for the future, to ensure we continue to deliver services reliably and sustainably for our customers, as we have done since January 2017.
“Queensland Rail has never lost sight of restoring these services for South East Queenslanders, and I look forward to seeing these improvements in place and benefiting commuters.”
Mr Easy said extensive operational readiness and planning activities had now been completed, and independently assured by the Citytrain Response Unit, ahead of the implementation of the changes from 29 July.
“Delivering a new timetable is a complex task which requires the consideration of a range of interconnected logistics beyond the availability of traincrew, including the planning, stabling and maintenance of trains, rostering and daily train movements,” Mr Easy said.
“More trains running across the network is naturally more challenging to operate, and as the implementation of these changes approaches in the coming weeks our teams will be 100 per cent focused on ensuring we transition to these changes reliably.
“We hope these improvements can make a real difference to our customer’s schedules each week, providing more frequent services and more options for our customers to get to and from their commitments sooner.”