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Top Queensland Rail train driver earned $225,000

Christian Fernsby |
Brisbane Times revealed the best-paid train driver for Queensland Railmade $225,894 in 2018-19 after racking up 836 hours of overtime, worth $69,005.

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That is the equivalent of an extra 16 hours worked every week of the year.

It comes as Queensland Rail announced the end of "rail fail", adding an extra 430 services and 200,000 seats to the network on Monday.

The new timetable restored the services introduced in October 2016 after the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line, which sparked rolling cancellations and uncovered a shortage of drivers and an unsustainable reliance on overtime.

Queensland Rail had since been running a series of reduced service timetables.

Asked for the latest overtime bill at a press conference on Monday afternoon, Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said the organisation's 632 drivers were paid on average $24,000 overtime each per year.

In total, the overtime bill was $15.59 million in 2018-19, with drivers working 180,707 hours of overtime.

That is an increase on the previous year's $14.98 million bill from 175,589 hours of overtime.

Mr Easy said overtime was important to provide the flexibility for special events and training.

A spokesman for Transport Minister Mark Bailey said overtime hours worked by train crew in 2018-19 represented an 8.78 per cent drop compared with 2016-17 when the Redcliffe Peninsula Line opened.

"Queensland Rail operated 11,710 more services in 2018-19 than in 2017-18, so that required more overtime too," he said.

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