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Sydney Trains CEO grilled over timetable debacle

Article image for Sydney Trains CEO grilled over timetable debacle

As Australians return to work after the summer holidays, the new Sydney Trains timetable has crumbled with thousands of commuters experiencing delays.

18 services were cancelled on Monday and another one on Tuesday morning, with sick drivers being blamed.

Sydney Trains Chief Executive Howard Collins joined Mark Levy to explain the situation but faced a barrage of complaints passed on my disgruntled Sydney Trains employees.

“This time of year it is difficult because people are on leave. We have enough crew to run the service but when you get a large number who are not available then it puts pressure on our busy new timetable.

“We’re busier than ever before. That’s why we’ve changed the timetable. We haven’t used this railway as hard as this in its lifetime.

Levy, “If it is busier than ever, why don’t you have enough drivers?

“We do have enough drivers. This timetable is very intensive. When we get delays it requires us to have more drivers on standby. We’re recruiting every other week.

Levy, “There’s an email that’s just popped through and this person wants to remain nameless, works for Sydney Trains, suggesting everything that comes out of your mouth at the moment is a lie. Out of 1,200 drivers, only 36 were sick yesterday, that’s around 3%, so how could you anticipate drivers being sick. This new timetable doesn’t work. What’s your response to that?”

“The data I’ve got presented in front of me shows on average we have seen a significant increase in sickness… That is fact rather than fiction and is not lies.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

Mark Levy