QUEENSLAND'S beleaguered rail operator was under fire again last night after an electrical fault shut down the southeast Queensland network, sparking peak-hour chaos.

It is understood a circuit breaker tripped and caused a communications failure which stopped all Queensland Rail services from 5.12pm to 6.30pm, but a lack of information led some commuters to initially fear a security threat.

Last night's network meltdown is the latest issue for the rail operator, which has been battling to fix a driver shortage responsible for mass service cancellations last year.

Commuters waiting at two of Brisbane's busiest train stations - Central and Fortitude Valley - last night said they feared it was a security threat and a lack of communication from QR com­pounded their fears.

QR chief executive Nick Easy said the issue was caused by a loss of power at a Mt Coot-tha radio tower. "We will undertake a full investigation to … ensure a similar incident does not happen again," he said.

But Opposition transport spokesman Andrew Powell said it was ­unacceptable for the entire rail network to be shut down for so long.



MORE than four hours after mass train cancellations left commuters stranded across southeast Queensland, many are still experiencing "residual" delays.

Frustrated customers have taken to social media to complain about delays at stations all over the region in the wake of network-wide cancellations between 5.12pm and 6.30pm this evening.

A spokeswoman for Queensland Rail said the delays are a "residual effect" of the initial cancellations, which left many train crews stranded at incorrect depots.

She said the delays weren't focused at one particular station and would be resolved before the morning timetable commences on Thursday.

Customers have been advised to check Translink for updated information.

Queensland Rail has promised a full investigation into the "communications issue" that caused the cancellation of every train in the southeast and left thousands of angry commuters stranded for up to two hours.

In a statement issued to the media, Queensland Rail's Chief Executive Officer Nick Easy said

the issue was caused by a loss of power at a radio tower at Mt Coot-tha.

"We would like to sincerely apologise to our customers for the disruption to services this evening.

"Just after 5pm this evening, we experienced a communication issue between our Control Centre and our network.

"Trains were suspended between Central station and Toombul, Doomben, Airport and Mitchelton stations and major delays were experienced across all lines as a consequence.

"Our crews worked as quickly as possible to resolve this issue and communication and services were restored at approximately 6:30pm.

"Our early investigations indicate that the issue was caused by a loss of power at a radio tower on Mount Coot-tha. 

Our crews were onsite at Mount Coot-tha at approximately 6:20pm and identified that our tower site had lost power. They immediately worked to rectify this and trains were resumed approximately 10 minutes later.

"We will undertake a full investigation to understand the cause of the incident and ensure a similar incident does not happen again."


Queensland Rail said the "communications issue" that caused the cancellation of every train in the southeast had been "resolved".

The announcement was made over the loud speaker at Central Station at about 6:35pm.

"We do not know the arrival or departure time of any service, but all services will be returning to normal," a Queensland Rail employee said.

Confused commuters have been lining up in customer service queues as they attempted to find out what happened after the station removed all timetable signage without explanation.

Service announcements have been taking place inside the station about specific services that are due to depart certain lines but no timetables have returned to the screens at the station.

Many commuters have been witnessed leaving the train station rather than waiting for information about their relevant services.