Peak hour chaos as many Sydney trains are delayed or cancelled with commuters warned to expect MAJOR delays
- Sydney trains delayed or cancelled again on Thursday as union doubles down
The rail union has warned industrial action will continue this week despite a verbal commitment from Transport Minister David Elliott to spend $264million on safety modifications of a Korean-made fleet.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has been locked in long-running stoush with the government over the physical alterations.
RTBU Secretary Alex Claassens said the union wants to see the complete package and commitment in writing, and discuss it with members, before action is called off.
The rail union has warned industrial action will continue on Thursday and Friday despite the government promising to spend $264million amending a new fleet of trains
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has been locked in long-running stoush with the government over the physical alterations (pictured, officers board a Sydney train in October, 2021)
‘It’s great the NSW government has again admitted that safety issues with the New Intercity Fleet need to be rectified before we can allow commuters to travel on it,’ Mr Claassens said.
‘Rail workers and commuters have been burnt too many times to believe what one minister in one meeting says’.
The union began industrial action on Tuesday, by slowing down speed to 60 km/h, and vowed on Friday to stop operating foreign-made trains even after the offer.
Transport for NSW has warned this will cause delays and cancellations for commuters, with Sydney services to be reduced by 70 per cent during peak periods.
Sydney Trains CEO Matt Longland said the network was operating at reduced capacity, resembling a weekend timetable.
He advised commuters to avoid train travel or allow extra time as services will be less frequent and carriages more crowded.
‘Normally in the peak period customers wait one or two, maybe three minutes for a train,’ he told Sydney radio 2GB on Thursday.
‘This morning it will be closer to 10, maybe 15 minutes.’
The NSW government will spend $264 million on train safety modifications to end a dispute with unions, but industrial action by drivers will continue (pictured, Sydney commuters)
Sydney Trains CEO Matt Longland said the network was operating at reduced capacity, resembling a weekend timetable (pictured, commuters wait for rail replacement buses)
Meanwhile, public and private school teachers are striking for 24 hours over staff shortages and pay, while the rail union pushes on with its own industrial action.
Thousands of teachers are expected to descend on Sydney‘s CBD on Thursday, angry at a NSW budget that offered no more than a 3.5 per cent pay rise.
It’s the third strike in six months called by the NSW Teachers Federation and Independent Education Union NSW/ACT, representing 85,000 teachers.
The strike is expected to affect about a million families with classes cancelled on Thursday, just a day before a two-week school break.
‘We have a crisis in the form of a teacher shortage, a crisis that is the government’s own making,’ NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos told reporters on Wednesday.
‘The government has known for years the causes of this crisis: uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads.
Thousands of teachers are expected to descend on Sydney’s CBD on Thursday in the third strike in six months over better pay and unsustainable workloads (pictured, protests in May)
‘Students have been denied not only their learning opportunities but are also being denied their futures.’
It’s the first time in more than 25 years both unions have joined forces to strike for 24 hours, in a show of strength.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said she was deeply disappointed the two teachers’ unions had decided to strike.
‘This strike is unnecessary and will cause major upheaval for hardworking parents,’ she said.
Ms Mitchell defended the government’s public sector wages policy, calling it the most generous in the country.