Mechanical problems with the New Generation Rollingstock trains have caused delays but they are not being included in data. Picture: Liam Kidston
Mechanical problems with the New Generation Rollingstock trains have caused delays but they are not being included in data. Picture: Liam Kidston

Late trains ignored in QR exec bonus calculations

COMMUTER delays caused by mechanical problems with the state's new train fleet are being ignored in punctuality data used to calculate hefty Queensland Rail executive bonuses.

Our sister paper The Courier-Mail has revealed late trains are officially counted as on-time if the delays were caused by mechanical issues on any New Generation Rollingstock train.

 

Queensland Rail’s New Generation Rollingstock trains came into service last December.
Queensland Rail’s New Generation Rollingstock trains came into service last December.

That is in contrast to delays caused by mechanical issues on QR's existing fleet, which cannot be expunged from data as the result of force majeure - an act outside of QR's control.

Trains delayed by force majeure incidents, such as storms, are counted as on-time under QR's contract, which sets a target of 95 per cent of trains arriving within four minutes of schedule.

The on-time running target is also used as a measure in awarding bonuses to QR executives.

QR senior staff accrued $3.9 million in bonuses for 2017-18, but the payments were stopped by the State Government this month due to the ongoing "rail fail".

Internal QR emails reveal a train door malfunction this month triggered service delays, but QR that day reported that 100 per cent of trains arrived on time.

The door issue was described in the email as "potential force majeure".

QR chief executive Nick Easy confirmed mechanical issues on QR trains were not considered force majeure, but "technical rollingstock issues in an NGR train may be considered force majeure if there is no operator impact given (QR) does not own or maintain the fleet."

NGR door faults caused 51 service delays and 12 cancellations between December and mid-July. Picture: Liam Kidston.
NGR door faults caused 51 service delays and 12 cancellations between December and mid-July. Picture: Liam Kidston.

Mr Easy argued QR would still have met its on-time running target since the NGR trains started running last December if the NGR delays had been counted as running late.

About 26 of 75 NGR trains on order have been rolled out on QR's commuter network.

The NGR project is being delivered under a public-private partnership between the State Government's Transport Department and the Bombardier-led Qtectic consortium.

NGR door faults have been frequent, causing 51 service delays and 12 cancellations between December and mid-July.

QR data shows it would have flunked its on-time running target in 2017-18 by just half a per cent if delays written off as being caused by force majeure incidents were included.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey has spruiked QR's punctuality results as signs of a healthy train system, last week commenting on Twitter that taking a QR train from work is "stress free & easy as" with on time running averaging 95 per cent "including my train tonight".



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