loco express logo
rtbu logo
News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

The truth about today’s train cancellations

Jan 8, 2018Update

Scheduled train service cancellations across the network on Monday have not only inconvenienced commuters, but have also puzzled workers who are trying to get to the bottom of why Sydney Trains management has started cancelling vital services.

One minute, Sydney Trains management said that the cancellations were due to an excessive amount of approved leave, then it was track work, then they changed their minds and decided to blame workers taking sick leave, and on Twitter, they’ve even blamed “reduced customer demand” and the weather.

After investigations, we believe that there has been no abnormal spike in sick leave today by train drivers” and is another attempt by Sydney Trains to demonise their hard working and dedicated Drivers to hide their own failings!

This reeks of management trying to cover up their own scheduling failures by putting the blame on the workforce and commuters.

The new Sydney Trains timetable has been shambolic since day one. The timetable was introduced without any consultation with the workforce and the result has been disastrous for commuters.

This is another example of the NSW Transport Minister’s incompetence.

To suggest that workers are to blame for scheduled train cancellations across Sydney today is ridiculous, especially given Sydney Trains had started making plans to cancel today’s services last Friday.

It’s absurd to think that a few workers falling ill would cause disruptions across the whole transport network. These workers are charged with looking after the safety of thousands of passengers every day. We can’t have people putting others at risk by coming to work if they’re sick, and management need to have enough drivers employed to be able to deal with the usual numbers of sick leave.


10 Comments to “The truth about today’s train cancellations”

  • You’ll find the majority of us have just had enough of doing overtime for the time being. We do not appreciate being constantly hassled by Rosters and TCAC on our book off days. I was talking to one Driver today who was called at midnight on his book off day for a job which started only a couple of hours later. I understand the reasons for the call but to me it is disrespectful (especially to the man’s sleeping wife!) no matter how polite the assigner was.

    There have also been situations where inexperienced crew have been mislead by assigners into working extended hours. I do not like assigners attempting to pull the wool over my eyes and being treated like a four year old.

    I have been driving trains for ten years, I could count my sick leave on one hand and my record is clean. I would really appreciate receiving the respect I feel we deserve.

    • Chris the way not to get “hassled” by Rosters or TCAC is to sign for your book off days that you want to stand. A phone call at midnight to come out is obviously a late notice sickie, not much can be done about that, again sign for your days off and you won’t get a phone call. No TCAC Supervisor will “mislead” anyone into working extended hours which are illegal or breach awards.

  • Why is the union not screaming from the rooftops that there are insufficient driver numbers & have been for some time. I expect the govt to lie to cover up their incompetence but what is the union’s excuse for not issuing a statement to the media all of last year. Perfect opportunity today so why are you guys so quiet???

    • Great comment, where is the Union voice, haven’t heard a peep publicly

  • Well said. It’s sad they want to blame everyone but themselves. If they had have stuck their hand up and said the new timetable didn’t go to plan our bad and tweak it people would probably accept that as a genuine explanation. But nobody is buying the blame the crew story

  • Many of today’s issues seemed related to the Hornsby trackwork scheduling. Sydney Trains are trying to blame frontline staff for their own poor planning.

    All the trains from the Central Coast to the City via Chatswood were terminated short at Berowra instead of continuing and diverting via the ECRL. This has nothing to do with a shortage of drivers.

    Reduced services on the Central Coast Line were unable to meet demand. The replacement bus options for anyone traveling to/from the North Shore don’t make much sense.

  • Saw this on Facebook!!!

    “I’ve just gone through all depot rosters and compiled how many lines to how many on A/L and how many on sick leave. Now considering A/L is scheduled then I haven’t factored this in to my final count. Only sick leave… that was what was to blame today. So, all depots total 1155 lines, permanent and swingers. Total Sick days listed as S/L was 36. Not a typo, yes, 36
    3.1% of the entire driver workforce was sick.

    If a network cannot survive with it losing just 3% of its workforce then expect a lot more of today’s debacle.

    Now, union delegates, representatives……this is the information that needs to go to the media and the opposition yesterday. We should never be the scapegoat in this highly mismanaged mess.”

  • You needed bother blaming the Assigners at’s not their fault Sydney Trains is embarrassingly short of drivers. They were massively short before the new Timetable added extra pressure. You have no idea of the stress they have to endure on a daily basis. Heads should roll at the top for allowing the new Timetable to go ahead knowing it was unworkable. It should have been put on hold until the new drivers were available.

  • The NSW government is getting the expectation low for the public, before they hand over operations to the MTR… of course quoting the 99.9% on time performance from their HK operation.

  • When did a conservative ever admit to doing something wrong? not in my memory and I am 73.

Post comment

EA 2017
Sydney and NSW
Trains EA Updates