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Qld govt offers New Year's train assurance

AAP logoAAP 30/12/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Queensland Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has assured New Year's Eve revellers they won't see train service cancellations as a result of staff shortfalls amid an ongoing rostering saga.

Queensland Rail, and subsequently the minister himself, have come under scrutiny since October's timetable meltdown caused by a staffing crisis.

The cancellation of 235 Christmas Day services left passengers sceptical and the state opposition is convinced New Year's Eve celebrations will be tarnished by similar mishaps.

Mr Hinchliffe on Saturday said appropriate staff numbers were in place to deliver extra services on one of the busiest nights of the year.

"I'm confident that we won't see, based upon the information I've been provided, services cancelled this evening as a consequence of train crew availability," he said in Brisbane.

"We've got all of the roster that we need and we've got spares in case we have changes."

Contingencies were in place, the minister added, but he warned no heavy rail network could guarantee there would not be cancellations as a result of signal failures or other unforeseen problems.

The New Year's operation was not focused on delivering on-time running, but moving a large number of passengers, Mr Hinchliffe said.

He could not say how many drivers had been asked to work on their rostered day off, nor was he willing to say whether more heads needed to roll at QR should any commuter chaos arise.

The minister had ordered a "comprehensive report" into the Christmas Day failure but was handed a two-page document on Friday.

"I was very disappointed in the nature of the report," he said.

"It didn't cover specific things that I asked for."

QR staff will work through the weekend to shed more light on the issues, but Mr Hinchliffe said the report made clear the cancellations were due to a rostering problem.

Acting opposition leader Deb Frecklington reissued calls for Mr Hinchliffe's sacking.

"New Year's Eve services are in grave doubt and southeast Queenslanders will be on the edge of their seats over whether their trains will turn up on time - if at all," she said.

"Commuters have lost faith in Stirling Hinchliffe's assurances because they've heard it all before."

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