There’s no denying that big rail and transport investments like the new intercity fleet are sorely needed in NSW. But the more we hear about the Government’s plans for the NIF the less we like it.
First we heard it was being built in South Korea instead of here in regional NSW, by an international consortium including the infamous Hyundai Rotem.
The NSW Government’s push for Driver Only Operation is another terrible idea, and if it goes ahead it would not only compromise safety but also mean that up to 300 guards could lose their jobs.
The RTBU remains opposed to DOO until it can be proven to be 100% safe for both members and the public and nothing so far from the Government or NSW Trains has said or provided to us has changed our mind.
We call on the Government to introduce the NIF with the current Driver / Guard crew configuration and only seek to introduce DOO when both the employees affected and the travelling public are convinced it can be introduced safely, without any loss of the current safe operation of the system, service to passengers and flow on affects across the whole rail industry in NSW.
It’s now also been confirmed that the planned NIF trains are actually too long and too wide to be able to service the Blue Mountains line – meaning station and track adjustments will need to be made. So far the Government hasn’t confirmed how much this will cost taxpayers.
We need investment in transport infrastructure, but we need it to be well planned. Unfortunately, all we’re seeing from this Government is cost-cutting at the expense of safety, rail workers and commuters.
Loco Division Secretary