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Media Release: 98% of train crew refuse to operate faulty New InterCity Fleet

Sep 10, 2020NSW Trains

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW says 98% of train drivers and guards surveyed by the union will refuse to staff the imported New InterCity Fleet trains due to dangerous design flaws that the NSW Government has failed to fix.

The response came in a member survey where train crew reported extreme concerns about the obscured vision of the platform and the cluttered CCTV system, making incidents and safety risks outside the train, like people falling through the gap, difficult to monitor.

The design of the doors locks the crew in a soundproofed cab, preventing guards from monitoring the platform from their door as they currently do on InterCity trains in NSW.

“Our members have been telling the Government from day one that the design of these trains actively prevents them from doing their jobs,” says Alex Claassens, RTBU NSW Secretary.

“Their point-blank refusal to staff these dangerous, faulty trains should come as no surprise.

“These imported trains are unsuitable for our network and do not meet the safety requirements commuters currently enjoy in this state.

“Locked in their cabin, guards are unable to perform their safety role, while drivers are expected to monitor dozens of tiny CCTV screens for potential accidents outside, when they need to be concentrating on actually driving the train.

“Even the emergency call buttons will be no help if the worst should happen, because they direct commuters not to the on-board crew who are ready to respond, but to a call centre in Mascot.

“If in a split second a child falls through the gap while the driver is concentrated on driving, the crew cannot hear any commotion, and the emergency buttons won’t patch a bystander through to the guards before they take off.

“It’s a train wreck of a design flaw and a disaster waiting to happen. The government and Transport for NSW are willing to take that risk, but drivers and guards are not.

“The NSW Government must fix these trains before workers will operate them on our network.”