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Media Release: Heavy rail needs more investment as peak hour trains bursting

Nov 4, 2019Update

Systemic overcrowding on Sydney’s heavy rail network cannot be alleviated by the new Metro, increasing the urgency of funding for new rail lines outside the NSW Government’s pet Metro project, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW has said.

As the Metro West will be under construction for the next decade, RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens has warned that the single-deck Metro will not fill the gap in consumer demand, especially given future projected growth.

“No train should be running at an average of 150 per cent capacity,” said Mr Claassens. “The fact that this is happening across several train lines indicates a systemic problem.

“Trains are bursting at the seams during peak hour, and in ten years the situation will be far worse. Clearly, the Metro’s single-deck, low-capacity fleet will not alleviate this problem, either in the immediate future or in the long term.

“Governments have known for years that Sydney’s growth would only gain momentum, but there’s been no significant investment in laying down new heavy rail lines. Now Sydneysiders can’t afford to wait.

“We know that heavy rail will still be carrying the bulk of Sydney commuters even when the new Metro West line is open. Stalling new transport infrastructure in favour of the Metro is a time bomb. Sydney simply cannot afford for the government to realise in ten years’ time, once construction is complete, that the Metro has not solved our overcrowding problem.

“We need to build new rail lines with high-capacity, double-deck fleets to meet growing demand. It’s time the government poured money into a network that is tried, tested, and exactly what our city needs.”