The NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union has called off a snap 24-hour strike after the state government cancelled test runs for its new intercity trains.
The New Intercity Fleet comprises 55 trains that will operate on the Central Coast and Newcastle, Blue Mountains and South Coast lines.
A report by Klaus Clemens Engineers has found that the operating model of the New Intercity Fleet has room to improve on safety, saying that it fails to meet the “so far as is reasonably practical” safety standard.
The report was commissioned by the RTBU and made public last week.
The engineers’ report drew particular attention to a new system that would oblige drivers to look at CCTV to watch for hazards on train platforms, instead of relying on guards to do it for them.
The strike had been called for Friday, hours after the RTBU endorsed a safety ban on participating in test runs this weekend for the new trains.
But the strike was called off after Transport for NSW canned the tests.
“It’s really disappointing that we reached this point and rail workers had to stand up as the last line of defence in protecting the community,” RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said in a statement on Friday.
The RTBU will reconvene with Transport for NSW for meetings on Monday.
As a result of Friday’s strike action, intercity trains did not commence until about 7am on Friday, prompting significant commuter delays.
Transport for NSW said it was “incredibly disappointed” by the snap strike and apologised to commuters for the intercity delays.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance was also disappointed by the union’s actions.
“We’re not going to put a dangerous train on the tracks, this is a world-class train,” Mr Constance told 2GB radio on Friday.
“Thousands of people this morning have been inconvenienced.”