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Union wary of ATO plans on North West Rail Link

Jun 20, 2012News

The NSW Government’s plan for the future of Sydney’s rail network released today has revealed that Automatic Train Operation (ATO) trains will run on the new North West Rail Link.

The report also revealed the line will be run with single deck metro-style trains and be privately operated.

The document, released by Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, says the new trains on the line will be ATO, which it says is a technique to improve the way trains accelerate and brake at stations to enable more train on the line.

Locomotive Division Secretary Bob Hayden said the union will be watching the ATO situation very carefully to ensure the trains don’t end up driverless.

“Safety has to come first,” Bob Hayden said. “People need to have the confidence that their trains are as safe as possible, and they can’t have that confidence without drivers on their trains.

“The public don’t want trains without drivers. Government investment in driverless trains would be a complete waste of money.”

“We’ll be watching this situation very closely to make sure that these trains don’t end up as essentially driverless trains.

Bob Hayden said if the NSW Government’s aim truly is to provide the best possible service for commuters, it’s missed a trick by not planning for a fully integrated service.

“A fully integrated rail system would provide a much better outcome for the travelling public. What passengers really want is seamless travel. It seems the government has missed the mark.”

He also said news that the new rail link will be privatively owned potentially puts passengers at risk of paying very high fares – similar to those charged on Sydney’s only other private rail line, the Airport line.

For full details of the NSW Government’s plans, see the documents attached below.

Sydney’s Rail Future: NSW Government report

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