The New South Wales Transport Minister has warned people struggling to commute by train across Sydney that there will be “massive disruption” every weekend for at least a year.
Joe Halen said on Sunday the state’s Labor government is launching a $97 million backlog of overhauls for the beleaguered system, with plans to cram several years’ worth of work into the next 12 months. rice field.
Halen was at Croydon station in Sydney’s inner west to see track work already underway and to announce details of the Mings government’s Sydney railway repair plan.
“We need to take care of this critical maintenance backlog, or the situation will only get worse,” she said.
“Anyone who lives in Sydney will tell you that the rail network is not working properly.”
Halen warned that anyone who took a train through Sydney over the weekend would be taking the bus on Saturdays and Sundays for at least a year and probably longer.
“I want to be honest with you guys, over the next year or so we will have a massive disruption to the network on weekends while staff are on site to fix it,” she said.
“Work is done 24 hours a day from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday.”
A new timetable, introduced in 2017, proved to be causing huge delays in work and repairs, as workers were left with little time to access the tracks.
This accelerated maintenance program is in response to recent interim recommendations from the review of the Sydney Rail Network.
The review provided 12 recommendations for restoring network reliability after multiple meltdowns.
Bad weather and industrial action also contributed to maintenance failures, but the 2017 timetable change was the main cause, the report said.
Sydney Train Chief Executive Matt Longlund said closing the maintenance backlog was the first and most important recommendation from the review.
“Signals, overhead wiring, these will be one of your priorities…and also consider the effects of rain. This is the year to spend money,” he said.
Halen said Sydney needs a world-class rail network.
“People have been burned too many times and have lost faith in the system,” she said.
“It’s been more than a year of pain, but it will deliver the massive world-class rail system Sydney needs and deserves.”
Funding for railway rehabilitation activities will come from existing unused maintenance budgets.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/sydney/2023/06/04/pain-for-sydney-rail-riders/ Backlog of maintenance means ‘year of pain’ for Sydney commuters