Travellers frustrated by toilet closures at train stations on the Cleveland line

LACK OF FACILITIES: Carol Scarborough said she was unable to access toilets at the Birkdale train station.
LACK OF FACILITIES: Carol Scarborough said she was unable to access toilets at the Birkdale train station.

RAIL travellers have been left in the lurch after finding toilet facilities at train stations on the Cleveland line locked after the morning commute.

Redland Bay resident Carol Scarborough said she went to use the toilets at the Birkdale station on a weekday morning around 10am and found them locked.

Ms Scarborough said she had missed her train due to having to travel across the main road to use the toilet at the shopping centre.

"It's distressing when you have to choose between getting to a toilet and catching your train," she said.

She said she had encountered similar problems at other stations on the Cleveland line.

"Older people like us take the trains outside peak commuting times," she said.

"It's not a short trip into the city from Birkdale (and) it's not just retirees travelling (outside peak hours), there's also mums and young kids.

"They want us to use public transport but (they) can't provide us with a toilet while waiting."

Queensland Rail chief executive officer Nick Easy said amenities were only available when stations were attended by customer service staff for safety and security reasons.

"...(Staff) can ensure the facilities are safe and presentable for our customers," Mr Easy said. 

"This decision has not been made in isolation and reflects the same action taken by other railway operators in Australia."

He said the attended hours of Cleveland line stations had been extended with the roll-out of the New Generation Rollingstock fleet last month and were outlined on Queensland Rail's website.

The site said the Birkdale station was attended from about 5am until 1am on weekdays and 2am on Fridays but was unattended on weekends.

Ms Scarborough said this was not reflected in her experience.

She said she understood security concerns, but visible security cameras around the toilets at Birkdale would help to deter vandals and wrongdoers.

Mr Easy said there may be rare occasions when a station was advertised as being attended but the toilets were locked due to unforeseeable events such as unplanned staff illness.

TRAIN TROUBLE: Birkdale station.

TRAIN TROUBLE: Birkdale station.

Ms Scarborough said she felt toilets were a basic necessity for travellers.

She said a potential solution would be for the toilets to be unlocked when the first train went through in the morning and locked back up when the last train stopped there at night.

"I wouldn't even mind spending money to go in there," she said.

"If they provide a toilet it needs to be open all the time while the trains are running."