Finance

Here's How Sydney's Train System Ended Up Absolutely Shitting Itself

Here's How Sydney's Train System Ended Up Absolutely Shitting Itself

Key stakeholders are at odds over what caused Sydney's train system meltdown this week, with everything from the weather to sick drivers, rostering, training, funding and a new timetable being blamed.

Train services have resumed between Gordon and Chatswood on the T-1 North Shore line, after lightning damaged signalling equipment.

On Tuesday, the system melted down leaving thousands of frustrated passengers stranded on platforms across the city.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has laid the blame squarely on Sydney Trains' management.

Just one driver not turning up for work caused a 22 minute delay, said Collins, and that was one of several incidents.

The new timetable introduced at the end of November has been blamed for limiting the ability of Sydney Trains to react to problems.

"One minute, Sydney Trains management said that the cancellations were due to an excessive amount of approved leave, then it was track work, then they changed their minds and chose to blame workers taking sick leave, and on Twitter, they've even blamed "reduced customer demand" and the weather", the union said in a statement.

"To Alex Claassens, we want you to be part of the solution, not part of the problem", he said.

He also slammed the new timetable, saying it was "not worth the paper it's written on". "The resources were not there to introduce the timetable six weeks ago", Mr Foley said.

"We are seeing high levels of sickness of our train drivers, unusually so, but we are managing that well".

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"We've never seen those types of numbers", he said.

Briefings prepared in the lead-up to the new timetable reportedly warned of "reduced fleet maintenance windows" and an "increased demand on maintenance as [a result of the] fleet doing more kilometres".

These so-called growth trains are the centerpiece of Sydney's "More Trains, More Services" program.

Mr Foley says the Berejiklian government needs to fix the transport chaos before spending $.2.5 billion of taxpayer's money on rebuilding two stadiums.

The City Circle includes Central - Australia's busiest railway station - as well as the heaving inner-city stops Town Hall and Wynyard and the tourist and business hub of Circular Quay, among others.

He said today's meeting came ahead of upcoming union pay negotiations but that he had "no evidence" the spike in sick leave this week was a guerilla tactic being used to strongarm the government.

The union claims it has correspondence from Sydney Trains admitting there would be service disruptions in January due to "excessive leave approvals".

Sydney Trains wrote on Twitter the delays are due to "staff availability" and commuters should allow extra travel time for "flow on delays".

"It is working", Mr Collins said.


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