Legal & Compliance, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Operations & Maintenance, Passenger Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation

NSW rail review under way

The NSW Government has formally announced a comprehensive and independent review of Sydney Trains’ rail infrastructure and systems.

The move was foreshadowed earlier in the month by transport minister Jo Haylen, concerned at recent failures such as delays and widespread outages from the digital radio system malfunctions that shut down the entire system, and discontent over the controversial Korean-built train fleet which led to a transport worker strike.

Sydney Trains operates Sydney’s suburban passenger 369-kilometre rail network comprising of 170 stations on eight lines.

Each day 3200 timetabled services deliver more than 750,000 passenger journeys. Sydney Trains is responsible for the management of over $42 billion in assets, including the maintenance of 2000km of track, 2263 electric and diesel cars and over 1536km of electric wiring.

The review will be conducted by current National Transport Commission Chair, Carolyn Walsh.

The Government supports Sydney Trains’ mission and priorities but recognises the continuing challenges which must be addressed.

While there are no current indications of safety risks in the system, there is a strong relationship between reliability and safety.

The initial focus of the review will be governance and accountability, asset management and planning, reliability and resilience.

It will engage with key stakeholders, seeking their views and input, including:

  • Sydney Trains
  • Transport for NSW
  • Rail unions
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet, Treasury
  • Transport Asset Holding Entity (TAHE)
  • Infrastructure NSW
  • Sydney Metro
  • NSW TrainLink
  • Rolling stock operators accessing Sydney Trains network
  • Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator
  • Australian Transport Safety Bureau
  • Office of Transport Safety Investigation

An interim report is expected within six weeks, and a final report to be tabled in late October 2023 for consideration by Cabinet.