SYDNEY, AAP – Limited train services will run across Greater Sydney on Tuesday after the network was shut down on Monday amid an industrial dispute between the state government and a transport union.
The snap train network shutdown, ordered by state government transport authorities, caught rail commuters unawares, with many left stranded across Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Illawarra during the morning peak.
In a statement on Monday night Transport Minister David Elliot said reduced services would return across all lines on the Sydney Trains network from 5am on Tuesday, running at a minimum 30-minute frequency.
“Sydney Trains encourage commuters who typically rely on the rail network to find alternative travel options, if possible.
“These limited services are there to support essential workers and commuters who have no other options to get to where they need to go,” Mr Elliot said..
Sydney Trains and NSW Trainlink remain before the Fair Work Commission along with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) to further resolve issues, and the government and the union continue enterprise agreement negotiations.
Transport for NSW cancelled trains on Monday, saying it was impossible to safely operate services with union bans in place affecting rosters.
Premier Dominic Perrottet blamed the union for the shutdown, saying it was part of a “coordinated, concerted attack” on the government by the union and Labor.
Mr Perrottet was angry that trains were out of action on a day when borders were opening to international arrivals, children were trying to get to school and university students were returning to campus.
But RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens insisted rail workers were not on strike and were ready to get trains back moving “at a minute’s notice”.
“To deliberately shut down the rail network on such a big day for many people, seemingly so they can run a fear campaign about unions, is quite extraordinary,” he said.