Acting CEO for Queensland Rail and investigation terms of reference released

Published Thursday, 27 October, 2016 at 04:31 PM

Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

An Acting Chief Executive Officer has been appointed to Queensland Rail following the resignation of Helen Gluer. 

Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads Neil Scales has been appointed acting Chief Executive Officer to replace Helen Gluer, who has tendered her resignation.

Neil joined the Queensland Public Sector in March 2012 as CEO of TransLink where he was responsible for leadership of the public transport network across Queensland. Prior to joining TransLink, Neil was the Chief Executive and Director-General of Merseytravel, the transport authority for Merseyside in the north of England. In this role, he was responsible for some 200 million passenger journeys per year by train, bus, ferries and through the 2 Mersey Tunnels.

An international recruitment search for a full-time CEO will be initiated.

Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe will be meeting with the acting CEO tomorrow.

The terms of reference for the investigation into the QR Train Crewing Practices, to be conducted by former Rio Tinto executive Philip Strachan, have been released. 

Queensland Rail Train Crewing Practices Investigation

Terms of Reference

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has commissioned an independent investigation into Queensland Rail’s failed implementation of the new timetable, associated with the opening the Redcliffe Peninsula line.

To ensure quick and decisive action was taken to address the situation, on 24 October 2016, Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe announced a five point plan to restore Queensland Rail frontline services and delivery following the events. The five point plan requires Queensland Rail to:

  1. initiate the recruitment of an additional 100 drivers on 25 October 2016
  2. complete the recruitment and training of 100 additional drivers and 100 additional guards approved by the Government in November 2015
  3. deliver the interim timetable to minimise the disruption to the travelling public
  4. maintain the supply of train drivers by ensuring guards are stationed and trained on the Next Generation Rollingstock – providing a pipeline of future drivers with route knowledge
  5. work with its employees to develop more flexible working arrangements, including part-time arrangements – boosting the longevity of the existing workforce and creating driver roster flexibility

In order to ensure the circumstances surrounding the train crewing and timetabling are clearly understood and learnt from, a body of work will be undertaken to address the issues outlined above.


The work will cover two elements surrounding the current situation:

 Circumstances leading up to and associated with the current disruptions to the CityTrain timetable:

    1. The adequacy of Queensland Rail scheduling, rostering, training crewing, recruitment and training practices, including arrangements put in place to support the new timetable that commenced 4 October 2016;
    2. What circumstances led to any inadequacies in part 1a;
    3. When deficits in train crew availability were known about and what action was taken ahead of the commissioning of the Redcliffe Peninsula line to address these issues; and
    4. The nature and suitability of actions taken by Queensland Rail once the train crewing issues manifested under the new timetable.

 Implementation of the five point plan to restore timetabled services and public confidence in Queensland Rail timetabling: 

  1. Progress with the recruitment and training of the additional 200 drivers (100 approved in November 2015, and 100 announced on 24 October 2016) and 200 additional guards (100 approved in November 2015, and 100 announced on 24 October 2016);
  2. Future demand and supply requirements for train crew, including for the crewing of New Generation Rollingstock;
  3. Ensuring the suitability of current and proposed Queensland Rail recruitment practices to address the issues in 2b;
  4. The development and delivery of the interim timetable; and
  5. The suitability of arrangements and timeframes to transition from the interim timetable to the full timetable.


The review will be undertaken by Phillip Strachan, assisted by relevant experts.

Mr Strachan will obtain information from relevant sources.

The board and the CEO of Queensland Rail will retain accountability for the day to day operations of Queensland Rail.

Mr Strachan will be expected to interview a range of relevant parties in consultation with the board and the CEO.

Mr Strachan will report to the Premier, through the Director-General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, for the purposes of this review.

The appointment for the investigation will be for a period of three months, and will provide progress reports and findings during that period.