RAIL FAIL: Free transport for a week for trapped train users
PASSENGERS trapped on a Queensland Rail train for nearly three hours last Friday will be offered free transport for a week.
Deputy Premier and Transport Minister Jackie Trad today acknowledged the wrongdoing, saying Queensland Rail (QR) "could have responded better".
Children were among the trapped passengers who sat in total darkness for about an hour of the three-hour ordeal, with some travellers forced to urinate in open carriages as they couldn't get off.
Ms Trad said she has instructed QR CEO Nick Easy to review all practises when it comes to rail evacuations.
"It was an unfortunate incident but absolutely Queensland Rail could have responded better with more accurate information," she said.
"We need to review our procedures and make an earlier call about evacuation of passengers.
"We know that safety is a big consideration but we also know that probably we need to be making the call a lot earlier."
Around 60 people were stranded on the Ferny Grove line train when it became stuck around 7.30pm on Friday.
Queensland Rail has blamed the outage on a flying fox that hit overhead lines.
Christian Berndt, 18, of Ferny Hills was headed to a concert when he became trapped on board the Ferny Grove line train when it suddenly stopped between Windsor and Bowen Hills stations.
He said with no toilets on board, one trapped passenger had no choice but to relieve himself in the corner of one of the carriages, while a young boy had to urinate in a bottle.
Ms Trad said while it is impossible to prevent such incidents from occurring, it was vital to look at the processes in place following.
"What we know is that we can't prevent these things from happening but we can improve the communication we give commuters and we can improve our procedures to ensure commuters are not inconvenienced for as long as they were on Friday night," she said.
"In terms of communication and what commuters are saying to me is, if we could not have evacuated people earlier, if we didn't know what the problem was, then we needed to honestly say that."
Ms Trad's mea culpa comes just weeks after a possum caused city wide outages across the network.
The State Government has urged anyone who was stranded on Friday night to come forward to QR in order to receive their free transport.