TRAINSPOTTING: Opposition MPs Tony Perrett and Steve Minnikin want reliable services to return to the Gympie North station.
TRAINSPOTTING: Opposition MPs Tony Perrett and Steve Minnikin want reliable services to return to the Gympie North station. Scott Kovacevic

'Russian roulette' rail service blasted by visiting MP

THE State Opposition's train of thought has turned to complaints over delays on the Gympie-to-Brisbane rail one minister has compared to "Russian roulette”.

Visiting Gympie on Monday, Opposition spokesman on transport Steve Minnikin said he understood why Gympie residents felt gun shy about riding the rails south.

"It's becoming almost like Russian roulette - will it turn up on time?” he said.

"It's people writing to me, telling me that.

"It's Murphy's Law; they've needed to get to Brisbane for a particular appointment... they've used this a couple of times and they've been let down a couple of times,” the member for Chatsworth said.

"They won't use it a third time, because people are rational.

"If you get screwed over once or twice, that's it.

"There's no third chance.”

MP Steve Minnikin and MP Tony Perrett at Gympie North train station.
MP Steve Minnikin and MP Tony Perrett at Gympie North train station. Scott Kovacevic

Mr Minnikin said services were a far cry from how they were when he served as assistant transport minister in the 2012-15 State LNP Government.

"We had the best on-time passenger running in the country,” he said.

"We've gone from 2012-15 from the best... to now, the worst.

"It's beyond a joke.”

And the solution, he said, was simple.

"We want to try and look at ways to induce demand.

"It's really simple - make the service reliable.

"If it was reliable you might actually have people start to use it.”

Railway.
Railway. Mike Richards GLA020617TRACK

In January this year, data from Queensland Rail revealed the number of delays on the Gympie-to-Brisbane trains had dropped 37 per cent, from 255 in 2017 to 159 last year.

Rollingstock problems were the most common cause of delays and cancellations.

In April Gympie MP Tony Perrett was briefed by Queensland Rail after receiving complaints about inadequate and unreliable services.

Rail crossing.
Rail crossing. Crystal Jones

”I was advised this was the result of regular breakdowns and the need to replace of out-of-date signalling and rolling stock,” Mr Perrett said after the briefing.

Now, Mr Minnkin has said reliable transport services are on the LNP's to-do list should they return to power in October 2020.

"You want to know your train is leaving on a acceptable time,” he said.

"Unless there is some catastrophic failure, act of god, fair enough.

"This is a rail on two steel rail tracks... you should be able to set your watch to it.”

Gympie Times


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