Passenger Rail, Rolling stock & Rail Vehicle Design, Safety, Standards & Regulation

Hinchliffe downplays claims drivers ‘can’t see’ out of NGR trains

Queensland transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe says the government can correct line-of-sight differences between the Queensland Rail network and the design of Bombardier’s Next Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains.

The minister looked to ease concerns over the design of the NGR trains’ driver compartments, which led Queensland paper The Courier Mail to the headline, ‘Drivers can’t see out of new trains’.

“There have been some issues in relation to the line of sight for drivers to be able to see the points on platforms where they need to stop,” the minister said, according to multiple outlets.

“There are issues that are being corrected in relation to that.

“Making sure that the visibility for the full range of our drivers – some who are not the same height as me for instance, and others who are my height or maybe taller – there’s a range there and that all had to be assessed and there are details around that that had to be finalised.”

Hinchliffe said the government was also having to retrofit the trains to accommodate guards, an oversight the minister reportedly blamed on the former LNP Government.

Opposition leader Tim Nicholls reportedly said this claim was just the minister trying to distract the public from the recent staff shortages and timetable cancellations which led to the resignation of Queensland Rail’s chief executive and board chairman last week.

Nicholls, according to the ABC, said the LNP’s plan was for guards to walk through trains, rather than to stay in their own compartments.

“Guards are absolutely necessary on those trains,” he was quoted.

“In government, what we were concerned to ensure was that guards weren’t secreted away in a little cubby hole at the back of the train.

“We’re yet to see any evidence of what Mr Hinchliffe makes a claim about today. This is simply another red herring.”