RTBU NSW Media Release: New trains may have armrests, but lack seats and safety
Rail workers are warning that the government’s new InterCity fleet has scarified safety and seats for tray tables and armrests.
The new trains, expected to be rolled out early next year, is designed to be able to be run without a guard – a role critical in ensuring safety and on-time running – and will seat around 700 fewer people, despite being an extra two carriages long.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW Secretary, Alex Claassens, said that while commuter comforts are always welcomed, the Transport Minister has deliberately opted to style over safety and comfort.
“Of course we are always calling for improved commuter facilities, but they can’t come at the expense of safety, on-time running, or seats for passengers,” Mr Claassens said.
“No commuter would choose to sacrifice their safety or a seat in exchange for a tray table.
“The Transport Minister will like to claim that he purchased these trains for the bells and whistles, but the reality is that he made a monumental mistake and went out and purchased a cheap train that doesn’t actually fit on many of our tracks, and one that suited his desire to remove the role of guards on trains.
“Guards play a vital role on our trains. Removing them would be a complete safety disaster, not to mention the impact it will have on the on-time running of our trains.
“It’s all well and good to have a tray table, but that’s of no use if you don’t get a seat or if you spend your whole journey feeling sick because you’re forced to sit backwards for long journeys.”