MP Emerson brings relief to busting commuters
IT MAY be a long way to Tipperary, but there is no distance in this world longer than a no-toilet early morning train trip from Gympie to Caboolture.
Sunshine Coast commuters making the same complaint should spare a thought for Gympie commuters who have just that little bit longer to wait before reaching Caboolture station, the only scheduled toilet break on the trip.
But Transport Minister Scott Emerson has prompted heartfelt sighs of relief by stepping in to ensure that the longest journey is now an awful lot more comfortable, especially for those who may have had one extra cuppa before leaving home.
Mr Emerson, in his gratefully acknowledged mercy, says passengers have a right to expect basic amenities on the commuter train network, particularly on longer services.
"Having used the Sunshine Coast line many times before, I understand how frustrating and inconvenient it can be when toilets are not available," he said.
From yesterday, Mr Emerson said, we can expect to see toilets on our commuter trains.
And he says they will be maintained and repaired if necessary, with daily inspections to make sure they are fit for use.
"Trains will be inspected daily to determine if repairs are needed.
"Queensland Rail will then ensure any maintenance required is done overnight so passengers on the first service of the day will no longer have to put up with faulty toilets.
"I have also directed Queensland Rail to investigate the option of bringing mobile equipment to Nambour and Gympie as currently there is no maintenance depot at these stations.
"This would fast-track any maintenance needed and immediately increase the availability of facilities".
Mr Emerson acknowledged that the line to Brisbane has other issues too, including limited infrastructure capacity.
But he said the infrastructure we are likely to notice most will be a good starting point.