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MORE than 800 late-running passenger trains were treated as though they never happened by Queensland Rail number crunchers tracking the rail body’s punctuality.QR says the 826 services were excluded from its official punctuality results because the delays were caused by faults on the controversial New Generation Rollingstock trains.
The trains arrived late at platforms between December last year and September and all related to technical faults on NGR trains, which currently make up a quarter of the fleet.
But QR excluded them from its official punctuality results as it argues it cannot be held responsible for the NGR-related delays given it does not own or maintain the new fleet.
Lisa Ottander, 20, and Olivia Lindstrom, 19, both from Sweden, hop off one of Queensland’s New Generation Rollingstock trains at Brisbane Airport. Picture: Liam Kidston
The State Government ordered the trains under a $4.4 billion private-public partnership.
QR only revealed the on-time running accounting quirk under questioning by The Courier-Mail last week.
QR chief executive Nick Easy has argued it would still have met its on-time running target of 95 per cent of services in 2017-18 if the late services linked to NGR were counted and this equated to just 0.29 per cent of all services.
But it means once all 75 NGR trains are running, service delays linked to faults on more than half the passenger fleet would be ignored in QR’s contractual on-time running results.
The target is a performance measure in QRs contract and is tied to executive bonuses.
Commuter advocacy Rail Back on Track’s Robert Dow has called for an independent audit into the methodology used by QR to calculate its on-time running results.
Rail Back on Track’s Robert Dow. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning“The fact QR did not indicate the impacts of NGR faults were excluded until it was stumbled on by a journalist calls into doubt the entire reporting of on-time running,” he said.
“We should now treat the contractual on-time running metric as the nonsense it really is.”
State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington supported calls for an independent audit.
“(Transport Minister) Mark Bailey excluding over 800 NGR services from the on-time running results makes a complete mockery of the data,” she said.
Mr Bailey yesterday said he had asked QR and the Transport Department to “better co-ordinate their performance reporting” but did not specify how it would be improved.
Mr Easy said it was working with the department “to look at what additional reporting we can introduce that will provide our customers with more transparency around the performance of the NGR trains as they continue to roll out.”
As previously revealed, QR also counts all-station trains switched to express services as having arrived on-time in its official results, despite whizzing by scheduled stops.
This article first appeared on amp.couriermail.com.au
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