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Industry News


15 Jan 2018

Major delays strike Sydney's rail

Major delays strike Sydney's rail
Sydney's rail network is having a tough time in face of sparse services. Many angry passengers have waited on the platforms at Central Station only to find that trains are already packed with people upon arrival. In response to the issue; Sydney Trains posted the following on Twitter. Use local bus routes where possible; and delay any non-essential travel; it tweeted. Buses have been brought in to rescue stranded passengers. Transport for NSW said that staff availability and signalling problems caused major delays. Previously; the company has also blamed the issue on storms in Sydney. This is one of Sydney rail's most recent trials following its timetable change back in November. Seven Sydney rail lines experienced ongoing delays. Dr Mehreen Faruqi; NSW Greens Transport spokeswoman; denounced the situation and urged NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance to take responsibility. It's simply not credible for the Minister to say workers taking sick leave is responsible for Sydney's trains going into meltdown this week. The timetable overhaul has simply taken away all contingencies in the system; meaning breakdowns and delays ricochet through the system. The system is stretched to the limit and their response is to close down two train lines and hand them over to the private sector. I suspect this Government's strategy is to run the system into the ground to make the handover to the private sector more palatable; meanwhile the people suffer. Back in November; Sydney's rail system increased its trains and services. However; it is said that older and less reliable trains are being brought out to meet demand; and that maintenance has taken a toll on operations. Due to a fatality on the tracks back in mid-December; commuters experienced major delays. During that time; Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins denied that the change in timetable made it more difficult to overcome the hurdle. Whether this was the old timetable or the new one; under the circumstances we were facing yesterday; we would have seen the same effect; he said.