Customers on the Airport and Gold Coast lines will be the first to experience the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) fleet, when they enter passenger service.
Queensland Rail Chief Executive Officer Nick Easy said the Gold Coast and Airport lines had been chosen to meet higher patronage demand and provide improved customer service during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“Visitors from every corner of the globe will be coming to the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and we plan to have our newest, most advanced train fleet operational to serve them,” Mr Easy said.
“Given the different design of the NGR fleet, with the guard located at the end of the train rather than the middle, the way we provide boarding assistance to our customers will change.
“We have considered this closely and have thoroughly consulted with our people, stakeholders and the disability sector to ensure all customers will continue to be well supported.
“The assisted boarding point will remain in the middle of the platform, so the key change as part of the operating model is that station staff, rather than the guard, will provide assistance to customers when boarding the NGR train.
“To support this change, stations on the Gold Coast and Airport lines will be staffed by customer service employees from first service to last service, which also supports our commitment to becoming a customer-first organisation.
“Twenty-one additional station roles will join our existing team of 650.
“As well as being able to provide increased assistance to customers, this change will also mean amenities like ticket windows and toilets will be open for significantly longer periods – something our customers have told us they would like to see.
“Our customers’ safety and satisfaction are our highest priorities and I am confident that this change will deliver improvements in both of those areas.”
Mr Easy said Queensland Rail continued to work closely with stakeholders including the Department of Transport and Main Roads who are working to address design issues with the new NGR fleet.
“Whilst this work is underway it is important that we continue to prepare our network so that they enter service seamlessly this year,” he said.