I expect that Ray will follow the party line that the failure to order seats for a new passenger train was all part of the game plan for the Bligh government but the evidence does not support such spin at all:
The announcement included plans to include new “lay flat seats, similar to airline sky beds” and “smart, flatscreen TVs in all seats featuring in-seat entertainment with movies, news, sport weather and music on demand”.
“This $189 million investment means passengers on this world-class route will be able to travel in world-class luxury,” Ms Bligh said at the time.
However, it seems it will cost taxpayers much more to provide the luxury promised by Ms Bligh after Queensland Rail confirmed the seats and entertainment consoles were not included in the original $189 million price tag.
“Queensland Rail has a contract with Downer EDI to supply and fit-out the new Sunlander, and new carriages for the existing Cairns Tilt Trains, at a cost of $189 million,” QR said in a statement.
“This excludes the supply and fitting of seating and infotainment units, which are still subject to commercial discussions.”
QR compared this to how airline companies ordered planes.
Maryborough-based firm Downer EDI, which has the contract to build the new train, constructed the existing tilt trains, including fitting seats.
The existing Sunlander, which travels between Brisbane and Cairns, is being replaced after 45 years in service. It includes sleeper carriages and a dining car but is at least five hours slower than the tilt trains.
The bungle comes five years after QR’s CityTrain fleet expansion was derailed by new trains too big for key tunnels between Central Station and Brunswick St.
Pardon me but this has to be one of the most outrageous oversights from a shoddy government who are prone to such stuff ups, frankly its a wonder that the new train order included the wheels on the trains with this mob in charge! Of course there is more than a hint of irony that a so called progressive party who are committed to good environmental practice should stuff something like this up!
Further it strikes me as being rather strange that as the airline industry goes to a more utilitarian business model that the governemnt want to try to sell intercity train travel as a “luxury” experience…
A certain dictator was once reputed to have achieved trains running on time well it looks like Anna Bligh has been working on a reputation for trains that can’t fit through the tunnels or carry any passengers…
maybe what we need to envisage is Anna Bligh ending up like Benito …
Then again, maybe not, because the ballot box is always much better than a strong rope an angry mob and a lamp post