Sydney traffic update: Commuter chaos continues as trains, buses are threatened by industrial action and protests on Tuesday


NSW commuters are being warned of widespread delays as train drivers strike and scheduled trackwork takes down a long list of services.

A perfect storm has converged on Sydney this week, as non-related strikes from the Rail Tram and Bus Industry Union (RTBU) and Nurses and Midwives’ Association unfold alongside climate protests.

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Trackwork has also affected the train services available in Sydney.

Transport for NSW says commuters can expect significant disruption to rail services as delays and cancellations increase during the week.

The industrial action is set to escalate until Friday night, as more and more services are cut or reduced.

“Customers should expect disruption including delays, altered stopping patterns and cancellations,” Transport for NSW said.

Alternative travel arrangements will be made where possible.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Are trains still running in Sydney?

Some trains are still running, but at a seriously limited capacity.

On Tuesday, the industrial action will see train services restricted to travelling at just 60km/h in Sydney.

Suburban trains are expected to run to an amended timetable, with regular services cut by half during the peak period.

On Thursday, further industrial action could see the Sydney Trains network reduced by as much as 70 per cent during peak periods.

Transport for NSW said Intercity and regional services would also be reduced on Thursday and Friday.

On Friday, the action by The Rail, Tram and Bus Union will escalate to its peak, when drivers refuse to drive foreign-built trains, reducing the capacity of the fleet to just 30 per cent.

It will impact Waratah, Millennium, and OSCAR trains, which combined make up about 70 per cent of the rail fleet and operate around 75 per cent of services.

Why are Sydney trains cancelled?

The RTBU has begun a four-day strike with protected industry actions affecting Sydney Trains and TrainLink.

The union claims that the “NSW Government has again failed to deliver on its commitments”, failing to review pre-budget safety concerns, and cancelling another opportunity to discuss issue matter last Friday.

Some trackwork is also being conducted by Transport NSW which will also affect certain train services this week.

Why are the railway workers on strike?

The action by the Rail Tram and Bus Union is primarily driven by safety concerns over new Korean-built trains, which the union maintains need to be modified to keep passengers safe.

It will escalate until Friday when drivers refuse to drive foreign-built trains, reducing the capacity of the fleet to just 30 per cent.

The Korean-built train issue is at the forefront of long-running enterprise bargain agreement negotiations between the union and Transport for NSW.

Is my service affected?

Transport for NSW said that on Thursday and Friday: “A significant reduction in Intercity and regional services to the Central Coast, Newcastle, Hunter, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and South Coast lines is also expected.”

The following train lines will be effected until midnight on Tuesday:

The following train services will be effected due to industrial action, until midnight on Tuesday. Credit: Transport NSW

Trackwork will also affect Inner West & Leppington, Airport & South, Epping & Strathfield, Bankstown, Cumberland, and Northshore.

For train services effected by trackwork, most will be replaced with buses running from 9.40pm until 1.30am.

NSW Train Links is urging commuters to use alternative transport and allow extra travel time.

Are there train strikes this weekend?

The four days of industrial action impacting Sydney commuters will finish up on Friday night, with the last scheduled action – on foreign-made trains – kicking off on Friday from 24 hours.

Next week, other strike actions will continue which are unlikely to affect commuters until next Friday, when another 24-hour ban on foreign-built trains will take place.

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