News, Culture & Society

Fury as Sydney Trains runs empty services in North Sydney

Passengers have questioned the efficiency of Sydney Trains after services on the city’s exclusive North Shore ran almost empty while commuters from the west were packed in like sardines.

More than a million commuters were affected by Rail Train and Bus Union industrial action on Thursday morning, with thousands of train services cut.

Footage shows commuters from Sydney’s western suburbs crammed into already packed carriages, while photos from Sydney’s exclusive north show very different scenes.

‘Has everyone just decided not to take the train today,’ Rebecca Rey Tweeted on Thursday

'On a practically empty car train from North Sydney to Central whilst other busier lines got four carriages,' Vanessa Bet said 

‘On a practically empty car train from North Sydney to Central whilst other busier lines got four carriages,’ Vanessa Bet said 

Vanessa Bet took to Twitter on Thursday morning to share a photo of her train from North Sydney to Central, almost completely empty.

She questioned Sydney Trains’ decision making, asking why they sent more resources to the north, and less to higher populated areas in Sydney’s west. 

‘On a practically empty car train from North Sydney to Central whilst other busier lines got four carriages,’ she said. 

Another commuter’s train was so empty she took to Twitter to ask if everyone had simply abandoned the train network to avoid the disruption. 

‘Has everyone just decided not to take the train today?’ Rebecca Rey said.  

Meanwhile in Emu Plains, 58km west of the city, commuters were unable to even board the four-carriage train arriving about 8am.

Footage shows passengers packed into the train and unable to move as it pulls up to the station.

Passengers on the platform were unable to cram their way inside, forced to wait for the next service. 

Angry commuters took to social media to demand answers, with many asking how a ban on overtime could result in the cancellation of almost half of all services.  

Early morning commuters have faced packed trains and long waits between services as disruptions begin ahead of Monday's planned strike (pictured are Thursday morning commuters)

Early morning commuters have faced packed trains and long waits between services as disruptions begin ahead of Monday’s planned strike (pictured are Thursday morning commuters)

Sydney is set for a chaotic Thursday morning as hundreds of thousands of people have their daily commute disrupted by the train workers' industrial action (pictured is Penrith station on Thursday morning)

Sydney is set for a chaotic Thursday morning as hundreds of thousands of people have their daily commute disrupted by the train workers’ industrial action (pictured is Penrith station on Thursday morning)

Today marks the first day affected by Rail Train and Bus Union industrial action, which is set to peak on Monday January 29 with a 24-hour strike (pictured are commuters packed on to a train travelling from Penrith to the Sydney CBD)

Today marks the first day affected by Rail Train and Bus Union industrial action, which is set to peak on Monday January 29 with a 24-hour strike (pictured are commuters packed on to a train travelling from Penrith to the Sydney CBD)

Angry commuters took to social media to demand answers, with many asking how a ban on overtime could result in the cancellation of almost half of all services (pictured are Thursday commuters)

Angry commuters took to social media to demand answers, with many asking how a ban on overtime could result in the cancellation of almost half of all services (pictured are Thursday commuters)

‘Something wrong when an overtime ban reduces service so dramatically.’ wrote one irate rail user.

‘If 1300 train services are cancelled today because staff are refusing to work overtime, that surely highlights a major problem with staff numbers,’ said another.  

‘Despite calling on hundreds of additional buses we are still unable to replace the full capacity of cancelled train services,’ Transport Coordinator General Marg Prendergast said in a statement.

‘Customers should consider whether they need to travel at all but if they do, should allow plenty of additional travel time, expect delays and travel outside the morning and afternoon peak periods,’ she said. 

Services on Thursday and Australia Day on Friday have been cut by nearly half, with trains operating on a Saturday schedule – running every 15 minutes.

Commuters have been warned to avoid peak hour travel and to stay home if possible.

Thursday’s worst rail choke points 

– Bondi to Central 6am-9am: Services cut from 39 to 16, trains every 12 minutes instead of five

– Central to Bondi 5pm-8pm: Services cut from 38 to 21, trains every 15 minutes instead of seven 

– Gosford to Central 6am-9am: Services cut from 18 to 6, trains every 25 minutes instead of five

– Central to Gosford 5pm-8pm: Services cut from 9 to 6, trains every 30 minutes instead of 15 

– Bankstown to Central 6am-9am: Services cut from 25 to 12, trains every 20 minutes instead of four

– Central to Bankstown 5pm-8pm: Services cut from 19 to 12, trains every 25 minutes instead of four 

– Blacktown to Central 6am-9am: Services cut from 35 to 17, trains every nine minutes instead of five 

– Central to Blacktown 5pm-8pm: Services cut from 28 to 6, trains every eight minutes instead of six

– Cronulla to Central 6am-9am: Services cut from 18 to 9, average wait time up from nine minutes to 18

– Central to Cronulla 5pm-8pm: Services cut from 17 to 13, average wait time up from four minutes to ten

– Glenfield to Central 6am-9am: Services cut from 20 to 12, average wait time up from 8.5 minutes to 14

– Central to Glenfield 5pm-8pm: Services cut from 20 to 12, trains every 14 minutes instead of 9

Services on Thursday and Australia Day on Friday will be cut by nearly half, with trains operating on a Saturday schedule - running every 15 minutes (pictured are commuters on Thursday morning)

Services on Thursday and Australia Day on Friday will be cut by nearly half, with trains operating on a Saturday schedule – running every 15 minutes (pictured are commuters on Thursday morning)

Commuters (pictured on Thursday) have been warned to avoid peak hour travel and to stay home if possible

Commuters (pictured on Thursday) have been warned to avoid peak hour travel and to stay home if possible

Rail, Tram and Bus Union members rejected an offer from Sydney Trains to accept a deal including a 2.75 per cent pay increase and free travel on Metro transport (pictured are commuters on Thursday morning)

Rail, Tram and Bus Union members rejected an offer from Sydney Trains to accept a deal including a 2.75 per cent pay increase and free travel on Metro transport (pictured are commuters on Thursday morning)

A woman walks past a timetable board at Strathfield train station in Sydney on Thursday

A woman walks past a timetable board at Strathfield train station in Sydney on Thursday

No trains will run across New South Wales on Monday and all stations will be closed if the 24-hour strike goes ahead.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union members rejected an offer from Sydney Trains to accept a deal including a 2.75 per cent pay increase and free travel on Metro transport.

The NSW government is making a last-ditch effort to stop the Monday’s strike as commuters already start facing disruption from a limited train service.

The state government late on Wednesday launched legal proceedings in the Fair Work Commission to stop both the strike and today’s ban on overtime work.

Social media users (pictured above) vented their anger over the industrial action on Thursday

Social media users (pictured above) vented their anger over the industrial action on Thursday

A woman walks past a timetable board showing service disruptions at Strathfield train station in Sydney on Thursday

A woman walks past a timetable board showing service disruptions at Strathfield train station in Sydney on Thursday

People get off a Sydney Trains carriage during rush hour at Strathfield on Thursdays as almost half of all services were cancelled due to ban on overtime work

People get off a Sydney Trains carriage during rush hour at Strathfield on Thursdays as almost half of all services were cancelled due to ban on overtime work

Sydney is set for a chaotic morning as hundreds of thousands of people will have their daily commute disrupted by a train workers' strike (pictured are commuters at Central Station in Sydney on January 10)

Sydney is set for a chaotic morning as hundreds of thousands of people will have their daily commute disrupted by a train workers’ strike (pictured are commuters at Central Station in Sydney on January 10)

The application was adjourned until Thursday morning, just as the first disruptions of the overtime ban begin to hit the system. 

Poll

How will you deal with Monday’s 24-hour rail strike?

  • Drive 18 votes
  • Bus 16 votes
  • Taxi 2 votes
  • Uber 3 votes
  • Walk 2 votes
  • Bike 2 votes
  • Stay home 52 votes

Services on Thursday will be slashed from 2900 to 1600 trains, beginning from midnight.

About 500 buses are being brought in to help with the lack of trains. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has asked commuters to check timetables before travelling, and to avoid using trains during peak hours before and after work. 

The rail union is being criticised for using a text message process to vote on the strike action.

Texts were sent by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning for their response to the offer from Sydney Trains.

The message read: ‘Is the offer on the table good enough that you want to temporarily stop your industrial action?’

‘Respond ‘YES’ if you think we should temporarily stop the action. DO NOT RESPOND if you think the action this week should go ahead. No response = a ‘NO’ vote.’

Transport Minister Andrew Constance labelled the poll ‘illegitimate’ after it was revealed only 5.93 per cent – about 360 workers – voted in favour of the strike.

Sydney commuters are being asked to avoid non-essential travel to avoid putting the skeleton network under too much strain (pictured are commuters at Central Station in Sydney on January 10)

Sydney commuters are being asked to avoid non-essential travel to avoid putting the skeleton network under too much strain (pictured are commuters at Central Station in Sydney on January 10)

Texts were sent by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning for their response to the offer from Sydney Trains

Texts were sent by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning for their response to the offer from Sydney Trains

 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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