Sydney trains to be investigated after network meltdown causes transport chaos

Transport Minister Confirms No Opal Fares Will Be Refunded After Sydney Trains Chaos

Sydney trains to be investigated after network meltdown causes transport chaos

The network went into meltdown on Tuesday afternoon leaving thousands of frustrated passengers stranded on platforms across the city, with rail bosses blaming lightning strikes and driver sickness for the chaos. "This new timetable is delivering the services we need".

Eighteen services were cancelled yesterday and delays for some areas continued well into the night, with the T-1 line the worst affected.

Despite calls from the NSW opposition, Mr Constance ruled out the government "immediately" refunding train passenger fares for Monday and Tuesday.

"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.

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

"The problem is they've gone ahead and made promises for all these new trains when the growth trains aren't ready yet, so they've had to bring trains out of mothballs, there's no spare trains in the system and there's no spare drivers and guards, so of course it's going to be a problem when people get sick and exhausted and worn out", he said. "Clearly the government went against its own expert advice on the new timetable".

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW released a statement accusing the state transport service of "covering up" its many issues.

Andrew Constance addressed the media on Wednesday morning.

Last month, I reported how Sydney's crippling immigration-fuelled population growth had pushed the rail network to breaking point, with one early morning incident causing mayhem well into the evening across the metropolitan train system.

New South Wales Opposition leader Luke Foley slammed the Berejiklian Government, the new timetables, and the state's "shambolic" train service.

Mr Collins said he will sit down with the union in the timetable review, while Mr Constance said his "door is always open".

"I expect the next 48 hours to be better and we'll continue to work at it".

The review will look at staffing contingency levels "to swiftly recover from weather and other uncontrolled events", potential minor adjustments to services to improve recovery time during delays and resource allocation to ensure staff and trains are best positioned across the network.

The government, he said, needs to fix the transport chaos before spending $2.5 billion rebuilding two stadiums.

Sydney commuters also took to Twitter to vent their frustrations with the transport system, with one commuter jokingly asking the transport minister if he should leave work the day before to get there on time.

Matt O'Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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