Passenger Rail, Legal & Compliance, Operations & Maintenance, Signalling & Communications

Haylen vows to fix NSW train problems

RAIL repair

New South Wales’ freshly-minted transport minister Jo Haylen has announced an independent investigation into the malfunctions of Sydney’s train network.

These include delays and widespread outages, such as the recent digital radio system failure that shut down the entire system, and discontent over the controversial Korean-built train fleet which led to a transport worker strike.

“Signal failures, shutdowns, cancellations and delays. After years of the Liberals ignoring problems on our railway, it’s time to start looking for solutions,” she said.

“Just this month, our rail network saw two signal failures leading to delays across the network, and a snapped power line saw 500 people stuck on a train for 90 minutes.

“We’ve inherited a rail network riddled with serious problems. It will take time to solve them, but that work begins now.

“That’s why we are carrying out a vital review into our trains. It’ll find rapid and durable solutions for the problems our network faces.

“This review will mean a safer and more reliable service, so passengers aren’t left on platforms and rail workers aren’t left frustrated because they haven’t been listened to.”

Haylen has engaged current National Transport Commission chair Carolyn Walsh to oversee an external audit of Sydney Trains – despite the service’s advice that an internal review would suffice.

“With Carolyn leading the review and the Sydney Trains team ready to work with her to find solutions, I’m confident we’ll find new ways to deliver a better rail service for all of NSW,” Haylen said.

As shadow minister leading up the recent state election, Haylen claimed that the Liberal Government was warned of the potential for a train network failure a year ago, and did nothing.

“Under the Liberals, passengers are experiencing more delays and safety is falling behind,” she said.

“Sydney Trains on-time running is at 78.3 per cent – 14 per cent below target.

“The most recent maintenance backlog for the 2021-22 year was $670 million. This was up from $440m in 2019-20.

“Passengers simply want a safe and reliable public transport system.”

Haylen also praised the H set trains, a class of electric multiple units currently operated by NSW TrainLink.

“The H-set trains are some of the last to roll off NSW production lines,” she said.

“Built in Newcastle, they’re reliable, well-built and ready to keep serving the network for years to come.

“When we build things here, they last and create thousands of jobs along the way.

“That’s why we’ll build the next generation of Sydney trains here as well.”