‘Deeply apologise’:Sydney commuters hit by major train delays across city

Sydney commuters faced a sluggish commute home on Monday night as multiple issues disrupted the city’s rail network.

Transport for NSW confirmed the metro rail network had been disrupted by track repairs at Town Hall in the afternoon and operational issues at Central. The issue caused major delays,cancellations and gaps in services on the T1 North Shore line,T2 Inner West and Leppington line,T3 Bankstown line,and T8 Airport and South line.

Police closed North Sydney station for about 15 minutes after rail delays caused peak-hour congestion.

Police closed North Sydney station for about 15 minutes after rail delays caused peak-hour congestion.Tim Barlass

The Metro north-west line running between Macquarie and Castle Hill was also hindered by a communications failure that saw major delays and busses replacing the usual train service after a system reset did not fix the issue.

A representative from Sydney Metro said they “deeply apologise” to customers affected by “unacceptable delays” to Sydney Metro Northwest,and will be conducting an investigation into the causes of the incident first reported at 4.28pm.

Around 180 commuters were affected by the metro communication failure over three trains.

An Eastwood community group reported members stuck for up to three hours on one Metro service between Epping and Cherrybrook.

Minister for Transport and Veterans David Elliott said he was advised of the “unacceptable” communication failure on the Northwest line on Monday evening.

“I have directed Sydney Metro CEO,Peter Regan,to work with the private operator,MTS,to ensure the problem is avoided in the future.

I expect the private operator to face contractual and financial penalties,where appropriate,” Mr Elliot said.

Others were stuck on a Sydney Trains service between Central and Town Hall for more than an hour with guards allegedly unable to contact signal controllers.

An unrelated incident that required the attendance of emergency services caused delays on the Sydney to Newcastle line.

Just before 6pm,the congestion at North Sydney station caused members from NSW Police to restrict access to platforms 1 and 2. The platform reopened about 6.15pm.

It’s the latest in weeks of issues that continue to plague the city’s public transport network.

A Sydney Trains spokesperson said passengers should remember safety assessments and repair work to the city’s rail network continued after wild weather caused extensive damage last week.

On Sunday,Transport for NSW’s chief executive Matt Longland said he was notified the Electrical Trades Union would commence industrial action on Monday but that it was unlikely to affect services in the short term.

“If this industrial action continues indefinitely in its current form then the network will eventually suffer. It effectively places a work ban on our electrical staff undertaking certain maintenance duties,” he said.

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Amelia McGuire is a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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