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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

Huge safety risk as hundreds of guards in the firing line

Sep 29, 2016News

The NSW Government’s plans to push through Driver Only Operation (DOO) on the new intercity fleet have been exposed in the media this week.

The Sydney Morning Herald article, Train guards in firing line from NSW’s $2.3 billion intercity fleet renewal, reported on tender documents which stipulate requirements for drivers to be “responsible for monitoring the train-platform interface using the CCTV system, responding to passenger intercoms, passenger information and passenger assistance”.

The RTBU estimates that up to 300 of the 380 guards currently employed on NSW’s intercity network would be in the firing line.

RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens told the media:

“There is absolutely no way they can operate the new intercity fleet trains safely in the current network configuration they have today without guards.

“I have been working on the railway since 1977, I am a qualified driver, and I can’t see how you can do this safely, unless you spend lots and lots of money,” he said.

“There are problems on the network every single day – deaths, violent assaults, floods, trees on the tracks – and if there isn’t someone there to help the driver it could be a disaster.

“There’s only so much a train driver can do – you can’t expect them to watch the platform and the whole train, whilst driving it as well.”

Read the RTBU’s full media release here.

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