TRAIN PAIN: Residents on the Ipswich-Rosewood line are filthy buses will run instead of trains on weekends.
TRAIN PAIN: Residents on the Ipswich-Rosewood line are filthy buses will run instead of trains on weekends. Rob Williams

Ipswich residents outraged at cutbacks to rail services

BUSES have replaced trains on the Ipswich- Rosewood line indefinitely on weekends in a development angry residents and Division 10 councillor David Pahlke have branded "a disgrace".

The Translink website says "these buses replace two services on Friday afternoon, and all weekend services".

"While most services will stop at all stations, there are eight services on Saturday and six services on Sunday that will run express between Ipswich and Rosewood," the site says.

One resident on a Rosewood Facebook site  said it would now take closer to an hour to get to Ipswich, rather than 24 minutes on the train, on the all stations bus service.

Translink's site says that buses are leaving 15 minutes earlier from Rosewood on the all station bus route to Ipswich.

But one woman said last time her family went on the bus it was "a big stinking bus that made us all sick from the fumes". On another occasion she said a driver "wasn't sure of station stops or how to get there".

Cr Pahlke said of the whole development "quite frankly it's bull****" while adding on the site that "it could be worse - could be horse and buggy".

He said residents would now have to spend more time on public transport than they already were.

"There are 70 comments on the Rosewood Residents Facebook site about this," he told the QT.

"It is a disgrace. Jim Madden comes on (the Facebook site) and posts an apology but didn't even know about it going into the weekend.

"(One man) asked Jim on the site whether he knew of the cutbacks beforehand and there was no answer.

"The electric train line to Rosewood was put in back in 1994. They have the new complex at Wulkuraka which is great and proves the western rail line is the future. But they can't even man the trains."

Mr Madden, the Ipswich West MP, said he was informed of the changes on Friday evening and immediately put a notice on his Facebook site linking to the Translink information.

"I have since put notices on various sites indicating I am very disappointed about this," he said.

"I have contacted the Minister (Stirling Hinchliffe) and expressed that disappointment and I am waiting on a briefing.

"I apologise to commuters. I have asked the Minister to indicate when normal services will be resumed and he has indicated to me they are working on a briefing for me so I can make a formal announcement as soon as possible."

Mr Madden said that "it appears there are a lack of drivers".

"And we put that down to the fact that the Newman government gave a number of redundancies to a number of train driver trainers and that has meant we haven't had the train drivers coming on," he said.

"We've advertised for 100 new train drivers and asked for some retired drivers to come back."

Cr Pahlke was unimpressed that Mr Madden was yet to receive a briefing.

"While Madden waits for a briefing, Rome burns," he said.

"If they are blaming Campbell Newman for sacking staff two years ago they have still known about it for two years.

"Why then did they go and open that brand new line to Redcliffe? Now the whole network is affected and we are being treated like second class citizens. Both sides of politics are as bad as one another and people have had a gutful."

One of the posters on the Rosewood community site  was unimpressed Mr Madden did not know about it before he did.

"The communication in the State Government is appalling," he said.

"We are not second-class citizens out here. Stop treating us like it. I vote and I will be showing my thoughts through the ballot papers next election."

The disgruntled resident  said it was time to "invite the Premier out to explain it to the town".

Queensland Rail confirmed a review had been ordered by Mr Hinchliffe into the decision.

"The weekend bus replacement was implemented by Queensland Rail as the Rosewood to Ipswich branch line is one of the lowest utilised lines on the city network, and a parallel road running alongside it meant buses could easily replace trains with similar travel times," the spokesperson said.

"However, at the Minister for Transport's instruction, Queensland Rail is now reviewing that decision.

"We sincerely apologise to our customers for the changes under the new timetable and thank them for their patience. 

"Additional customer service staff were rostered on the Ipswich to Rosewood line over the weekend to assist customers and a special low floor bus was also operating on the line to assist those with a disability.

"We are committed to restoring services as quickly as possible."

More details on timetables can be found at the Translink website.

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