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“Get these trains fixed”: Foreign-built InterCity trains next disaster for NSW

Sep 3, 2020News

Faulty InterCity trains will be the next foreign-manufactured disaster for NSW’s transport network, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW has warned, as a string of faulty imported trains and ferries proves our transport infrastructure must be tailored for the state’s network and safety standards.

Design flaws on the New InterCity Fleet, imported from South Korea, pose an unacceptable risk to commuter safety due to built-in traction interlocking, which automates all doors and prevents guards from properly monitoring the platform during the crucial moments where children can fall in the gap and commuters can get caught in the doors.

RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens says train crew have voiced grave concerns about the new trains, with the union indicating in December that over 90% of drivers and guards would refuse to operate the trains until its safety flaws were fixed.

“The New InterCity Fleet will be the next transport disaster for the people of NSW,” says Mr Claassens. “It is designed in complete ignorance of the way we operate trains in this state to ensure commuter safety.

“The traction interlocking on the carriages means all doors close at the same time, including the crew’s, locking them inside the cab. This flaw means guards cannot view the length of the platform as the train departs. What’s more terrifying is if a child falls through the gap, the crew will be locked in their soundproofed cab, unable to hear any commotion outside.

“The job of monitoring the platform will instead fall to drivers. They are expected to multitask and monitor dozens of tiny CCTV screens for such incidents, all while their attention should be on actually driving the train.

“It’s an idiotic proposition and an unacceptable risk. Last year we heard over 200 children were injured on our rail network, and further automating the system will make things worse. The Government have bought a lemon in this fleet and are doing everything they can to hide it.

“The Government must get these trains fixed before opening the doors to commuters. We cannot allow these dangerous trains on our network until its flaws are repaired.”

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