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Media Release: Mind the gap: NSW Govt looks to cut train guard safety role as figures show 200 kids injured on our network

Jul 2, 2019Media releases News

2 July 2019

Figures released today which show that almost 200 kids have been injured on Sydney’s rail network in the past 12 months highlight exactly why the NSW Government needs to fix the design fault on the New InterCity Fleet which will prevent train guards from safely monitoring passengers.

The Rail Tram and Bus Union will be in the Fair Work Commission on Friday, calling on the NSW Government to rectify the problem with the new trains, which are due to arrive from South Korea later in the year.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union Secretary, Alex Claassens, said the design fault in the New InterCity Fleet means that train guards cannot open their door to keep an eye on commuters during the critical 15 second period as the train is departing the platform.

“200 kids injured on our rail network is 200 too many,” Mr Claassens said.

“Just imagine how bad things will get if there are no train guards, or if our train guards can’t properly perform their role as will be the case on the New InterCity Fleet unless changes are made to the design.

“The current design fault with the New InterCity Fleet means that there’s about a 15 second blind spot – that’s the 15 second period when our kids can fall in the gap between the train and the platform, get separated from their parents, and even get caught in the doors.

“The government’s own statistics show how common issues on our trains are. These alarming stats are only set to get worse unfortunately.

“Running an education campaign asking parents to watch their kids is fine, but what will really make a difference is ensuring we have workers’ eyes on and ears on the ground making sure our kids and other passengers are safe.

“The figures of 200 kids being injured doesn’t even take into account all the near misses – all the times a train guard has held a train to wait for a kid or helped pull a kid out of trouble. No amount of fancy marketing and awareness raising will ever replace a physical person being able to conduct a vital safety role.”

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