LETTERS: Low patronage killing service

THE State Government and Queensland Rail have ruined the Townsville to Mt Isa Inlander train service, along with the Brisbane to Charleville Westlander train service.

Readers would be asking what on earth I am talking about so, in brief, I will explain the situation.

Passenger cars built during the 1980s replaced cars that were introduced in the 1950s, which should have resulted in a good quality long-distance train service.

The Brisbane to Longreach Spirit of the Outback train has dining lounge and sleeping cars.

The train is very popular and often booked months in advance of travel. For some time, however, a 14-berth sleeping car operated empty apart from three QR onboard crew on both the Inlander and Westlander trains.

The sleeping cars were converted for crew use and a small lounge section was provided for passengers.

The trouble with that is that passengers on the long overnight train journeys are required to sit up while the train crew used a sleeping berth.

QR and the Palaszczuk Government have now created a situation whereby the cost of operating the trains is likely to increase due to very low patronage.

Under the circumstances, I am offering a viable and reasonable series of suggestions.

The Spirit of the Outback has three first-class sleeping cars, so one of those can instead be used on the Townsville to Mt Isa Inlander train. Whilst many prefer train travel rather than bus, it might be best if a suitable bus service is operated on the Brisbane to Charleville route.

In conclusion, I have been disappointed that the Minister for Transport, Jacky Trad, has failed to act on the issues I have raised.

JOHN COYLE, Bundamba


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