Flying fox blamed for fault that left train passengers stuck for three hours

What should have taken less than five minutes turned into a near three-hour journey for passengers left stuck on a

flying-fox-blamed-for-fault-that-left-train-passengers-stuck-for-three-hours photo 1 Photo: One passenger documented the near three-hour wait through Snapchat. (Supplied: Christian Berndt)

What should have been a five-minute trip between two Brisbane train stations turned into a near three-hour ordeal for passengers left stuck on a Queensland Rail (QR) train following a power issue.

A six-carriage train carrying about 60 people on the Ferny Grove line making the trip between Windsor and Bowen Hills came to a stop about 6:15pm on Friday and did not move until close to 9:00pm.

A QR spokeswoman said the drama was caused by a flying fox getting caught in the pantograph, the part that connects the train to the overhead power lines.

Angry passengers told ABC News they were left in the dark — both figuratively and literally — when the power went out.

Ferny Hills teenager Christian Berndt was trying to get to Fortitude Valley for a concert when the train stopped.

He said frustration among passengers turned to anger as the wait grew longer and longer.

"By the end everyone was done. People were pacing up and down the carriage and just wanting to absolutely give it to every Queensland Rail staff that [sic] was on that train," Mr Berndt said.

He said a group of Broncos supporters missed out on the night's game at Lang Park.

flying-fox-blamed-for-fault-that-left-train-passengers-stuck-for-three-hours photo 2 Photo: Mr Berndt was offered a $1.95 refund for Friday's delay. (ABC News: Leonie Mellor)

"$300 worth of tickets sitting on a train waiting to see a game that they're not actually going to get there on time for. So these people were not real happy at all," Mr Berndt said.

He said he had received a phone call on Saturday morning offering $1.95 refund and a verbal apology.

"I'm not real happy with that to be honest. I definitely think there should be some more compensation, definitely for those people going to the Broncos game they should get their tickets refunded," Mr Berndt said.

"Obviously I was late and missed almost all of my concert. I wouldn't mind the refund of my concert tickets back.

"I definitely think it could have been handled a lot better"

External Link: Queensland Rail on Facebook: RESOLVED – We have cleared the train directly impacted by the overhead line issue on the Ferny Grove line.

Another passenger, Steve Hansen from Newmarket, was on his way to Fortitude Valley for dinner when the train came to a halt.

He described QR's actions as "average at best".

"There just didn't seem to be a real understanding of what the plan was going to be," Mr Hansen said.

He said the air conditioning was on for about half an hour of the three-hour stoppage.

"If it happened in summer it would have been a nightmare," he said.

"God knows what would have happened if there was actually something serious happening. Imagine if it was stopped inside the underground in the Valley there. It beggars belief. "

Children played hide-and-seek in dark carriages

Another passenger Deanna May, 34, who was on her way to the Broncos game at Lang Park with a friend, said some of the time in the train was spent in complete darkness.

"It was distressing at the time because we didn't know what was going on and people were worried there was a really serious problem," Ms May said.

"I was just pleased to get out of there at the end ... it was pretty distressing.

"You get a bit claustrophobic wondering whether they can't physically open the doors."

Ms May said young children in her carriage made the most of the event by playing hide-and-seek for the times when the power was off.

"Towards the end there was one lady who started sharing her packets of chips to hungry people .... we were following the [Broncos] game on our phone, people got a bit more chatty as time went on," she said.

"I was just glad it wasn't a catastrophe and everyone was safe."

Palaszczuk Government MP Steven Miles said Friday's problems were unrelated to wider problems with Queensland Rail services.

"All we would say to people who were on that train is that we're sorry that occurred and they should contact TransLink, who will organise a full refund of their fare," Mr Miles said.

"This is an unfortunate incident but it's unconnected to other events and the concerns with regard to QR."

Earlier this week a report looking at QR's operations found Queensland's problem-plagued new trains still have "deficiencies" including door and braking issues and it is likely they will not be ready for the Commonwealth Games.

"We are working hard to get these new trains fit for our train network and of course getting these new trains on the network will relieve these kinds of sporadic faults."

The QR spokeswoman said the number one priority was passenger safety.

"The focus last night was to ensure it was safe for our customers to disembark," the spokeswoman said.

"We acknowledge this took considerable time. We would like to sincerely apologise to the customers affected for the experience they had and the inconvenience to their evening.

"We have started to make contact with customers who have provided their contact details. We encourage others customers impacted to please contact TransLink for a fare refund on 13 12 30."

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Article Flying fox blamed for fault that left train passengers stuck for three hours compiled by www.abc.net.au