Sydney train commuters are facing a third day of chaos today as trains report further cancellations.
The North Shore Line seems to be the worst affected with multiple services cancelled this morning.
Trackwork today.#NorthShoreLine: Buses replace all trains Berowra – Gordon.#NorthernLine: Trains run Hornsby-City in the AM/PM peak periods.
Buses replace trains Hornsby-Epping at all other times.
Plan your trip: https://t.co/MPMhc9XxAN
Or ask us.
— T1 Sydney Trains (@T1SydneyTrains) January 9, 2018
Other lines appear to be up and running.
— T1 Sydney Trains (@T1SydneyTrains) January 9, 2018
— T3 Sydney Trains (@T3SydneyTrains) January 9, 2018
Sydney commuters suffered a day of absolute chaos yesterday. There were reports of massive overcrowding and indefinite delays on numerous lines.
Furious commuters have taken to Twitter to show how messed up things are and vent:
MAJOR DELAYS CONTINUE due to staff availability & earlier incidents. Trains running at reduced frequency. Buses supplement some services. Please listen to station announcements for the latest.
— Trains Info (@TrainsInfo) January 9, 2018
— Christine (@christines931) January 9, 2018
— Paul Kadak (@PaulKadak) January 9, 2018
#SydneyTrains view at 7.30pm, no trains have arrived and crowding is becoming dangerous. No updates on trains to Beverly Hills. Absolutely ridiculous. Government should be ashamed. Sydney cannot be a world city with these issues. pic.twitter.com/mPi9ketr4g
— Chloe Alyce (@_chloealyce) January 9, 2018
— bonniehuang (@bonniehuang01) January 9, 2018
The rest of the world finds ways to operate their transport systems through natural disasters. We can’t even get by on a sunny day. #SydneyTrains – opal prices creeps higher and your service just gets more and more unreliable ? pic.twitter.com/tIstGpmQbo
— Melodia (@meghrigg) January 9, 2018
Gordon station. That crowd runs all the way out of the station into the replacement bus queues. Am I the only one who thinks this level of overcrowding is dangerous? #SydneyTrains pic.twitter.com/H7eFgqO2JF
— Anita (@EvilxMidget) January 9, 2018
This took me 3 hours.
3 hours. I’m finally home.
I have a migraine. I couldn’t even go grocery shopping because I didn’t want to risk caching another train & getting stranded again.
Sydney trains is a disaster. pic.twitter.com/kWzmBM1Etv
— mini (@miniestmini) January 9, 2018
I’d rather be battling in the fkn hunger games, than dealing with #SydneyTrains BS ?????? #JesusTakeTheWheel #LiterallyAnyoneTakeTheWheel #NahYoureRightLiterallyAllNSWTrainsStaff #HaveASickie pic.twitter.com/eyX3qBn6JD
— Nick Aldrich (@nickaldrich96) January 9, 2018
There is some debate around who is to blame, but it looks like the state government is ultimately responsible.
ABC News reports that Sydney Trains management began by blaming the delays on train drivers taking sickies, and maintenance on tracks disrupted by bad weather.
But the Rail, Tram and Bus Union says that no spike in sick leave would cause that kind of chaos, accusing the Sydney Trains of “demonising” drivers.
According to the union, the chaos was caused by a lack of trains and a new timetable that was rushed out.
“We all know that we needed more trains. The problem is that they’ve gone ahead and made promises for all these new trains when the growth trains aren’t ready yet,” said Union representative Alex Classens.
“They’ve had to go out, we’ve had to bring trains out of mothballs, there’s no spare trains in the system and there’s no spare drivers and guards so of course it’s going to be a problem when people get tired, rushed and fatigued.”
Twitter has been quick to take the side of the union, with many tweeting shade at the state and city government:
Looks like Gladys Berejiklian is lining up to hand #SydneyTrains over to her rich mates
— Allan Green (@Tank9999) January 9, 2018
"We apologise as a train crew. We do not apologise for management's stuff up"
I love you, Guard. Don't let the bastards grind you down.#SydneyTrains
— Dave The Happy Singer (@HappySinger) January 9, 2018
Got an issue with #sydneytrains today? Have a listen to Alex Claasens from the RTBU. No nonsense answers to the stuff ups from Transport Minister @AndrewConstance. Public deserve better. As do transport workers. Understaffing public transport doesn’t work. #nswpol #ausunions https://t.co/rSgaiV6B1m
— Paul Garrett (@PaulGarrettAU) January 9, 2018
Hey @AndrewConstance I hope you're stepping down from your job as transport minister, the state of #sydneytrains is appalling. Delays EVERY DAY, terrible timetable, non air conditioned trains on 40 degree days, enough is enough.
— Igor J (@igzzz84) January 8, 2018
I assume you will be refunding everyone’s opal card spend on trains both yesterday and today? We pay you to provide a service and you haven’t provided one – end of story. When should I expect a full refund? #SydneyTrains
— James Clay (@jamesroyclay) January 9, 2018
Don't get mad at the staff of #sydneyTrains – take it up with the NSW govt MPs/Priemier who think we need billions in upgrades to stadiums instead of silly practical things like public transport. #nswPol
— Nathan Lee (@NathanLee) January 9, 2018
Every NSW politician should be forced to experience #SydneyTrains right now to see what they've created and who they're failing to represent. I don't give a damn about party politics. Do better. Now. #nswpol
— Melissa Matheson (@Mel_Matheson) January 9, 2018
While you’re at it, piss off the Western Sydneysider tax known as the M4 tolls. We drive, we pay. We train, we pay – can’t win!
— Steven Lopez (@slopezAU) January 9, 2018
Please explain this reddit post from a train driver then? I have also heard from other reliable sources that there is not enough staff to go around with all the extra services, most of which have been cancelled since the timetable was implemented #fail #shame #sydneytrains pic.twitter.com/OH2tJTzC0i
— c (@Charlz86D) January 9, 2018
One user, who claims her brother is a Sydney Trains driver, came up with a nine tweet thread explaining the meltdown as being the result of severe staff shortages coupled with breakdowns and the unveiling of a new, untested timetable:
If we had proper journalism in this city, then you'd know the truth about what is happening with the trains in Sydney. So before you go off your nut and blame the employees (especially the drivers), I'll give you some facts that you'll hopefully think about: 1/
— Marina (@HappyNacho73) January 9, 2018
There are some signs that things are returning to normal, but Sydneysiders are advised to check with stations for the latest information.
Image: Twitter, @_chloealyce