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New InterCity Fleet Update 21: South Korea Trip

Nov 4, 2019News RTBU News

Dear members,

It has come to our attention that NSW Trains has misrepresented the mood of the recent trip to South Korea.

From our point of view, all that the Korea trip achieved was to confirm the RTBUs concerns and fears.

Firstly, RTBU representatives were not able, despite requests, to see a completed train while in South Korea. The RTBU are not aware of whether a completed cab design yet exists, or if it is still to occur. The carriages that representatives did see were incomplete.

Delegates and members present have reported profound disappointment in the train which was worse than expected. The RTBU continues to believe that the design and operating model for the train is flawed on many aspects, making members jobs difficult, meaningless, and unsafe. Among the flaws identified on the trip were:

  • The inadequacy of the external CCTV system to delivery clear and concise images to safely monitor the platform train interface.
  • A system that allows unauthorised access to the crew cab in certain circumstances.
  • If the driver becomes incapacitated, passengers can enter the cab without authority.
  • When passengers need help, they cannot contact the guard directly; they have to go via the Rail Operations Centre first.
  • The use of an In-Cab camera.
  • There is no dual-purpose workstation (e.g. Driver Trainer/Principal).
  • Increased Distraction & Task Prioritisation was identified with the extra tasks required of the driver in new operating model.
  • Peripheral vision is obscured by Cab equipment.
  • The CCTV screens used as a “primary safety measure” are confusing in their layout and are of an inferior quality, including a slow refresh rate with glare being prominent. The location of the monitor is unacceptable.
  • Both drivers display unit, including the ATP screen, have glare issues.
  • Issues with Workstation Dimmer functionality.
  • Excessive noise in the Cab above 100kph, far worse than on the Oscar.
  • The park brake gauge is in the wrong location.
  • Crew access/egress issues with step ladder locations.

In addition to the above there are still significant issues around traction interlocking and its effects on the role of the guard and driver on the NIF (even though the excuse about infeasibility of its removal has been revealed as a lie), as well as the additional duties/workload drivers will be expected to perform and, of course, the proposal to have an in-cab camera!

NSW Trains state that the (NIF) was, ‘built for customers, by customers’. It is irresponsible that in manufacturing the NIF little consideration has been given to a design that that provides a fair workplace for train crew.

None of these issues have been settled yet, and NSW Trains continues to ignore your concerns about the NIF operating model, workload and safety concerns and would seem to be committed to a pre-conceived outcome regardless of issues raised.

In solidarity,


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