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Sydney Trains – Blacktown Crew Facility Access Pathway

May 17, 2018News

RTBU NSW Locomotive Division Secretary, Bob Hayden, said “Congratulations to our Loco representative Kevin Wilson and all those involved for their hard work and involvement to make Blacktown depot a safer place for all. It’s fantastic to see our RTBU reps like Kevin getting things done and making a difference for his comrades, thats what being part of the RTBU Locomotive Division is all about.”

As part of the consultation process for the Blacktown Train Crew Facility, it was agreed that a formal walking path would be constructed so staff would not need to walk through the commuter car park or the bus terminal to access it. As the pathway was not in the original planning for the Crew Facility, it was agreed that the interim path to Blacktown station would be via the bus terminal and the escalator near Platform 3. After almost 18 months of planning, construction of a suitable pathway has now been completed.

Due to the station upgrade during 2017, construction of the pathway was delayed as the site was being used to store materials and access the construction zone. With the station upgrade finishing in January of this year, construction on the path could finally begin.

In early April, a slow start was made on clearing and flattening out the area for the path. Originally, it was to be 1.2m in width but after consulting with the WHS Reps at Blacktown, it was agreed to increase it to 2.10m which would allow 2 people to walk side by side or pass each other easily.

First sections of concrete are laid

A 6ft fence separates the path from the danger zone so there is no need to wear a safety vest to walk along the pathway. The high security fencing alongside the car park also prevents people from gaining easy access to the path or throwing items at staff.

Pathway under construction showing internal fence line & height

During the construction, we were advised that the path would end before the car parking area of the crew facility as this was as far as the workers had been told to build. This created an issue as the area is not paved and is very uneven which could lead to trip injuries etc. Also, when it rains, the area becomes extremely muddy. As a result, it was agreed to extend the path through this area. However, since this section of the path was not in the original scope of the project, to keep costs down, it was agreed to do this section in asphalt. Another stroke of luck was the fact that there were already lights installed in this area.

The asphalt path running through the car park under construction

Lighting towers were erected in the week 30/04 – 05/05/18 however, due to some engineering issues, the lighting heads require a special bracket to attach them to the poles so the main lighting will not be working for a week or so. There is enough ambient light from Platform 2 and the commuter car park to allow for the pathways use until the lighting is finished.

Ambient lighting allows for use of the path until proper lighting is finished

The major work of the pathway was completed in the first week of May which included the installation of the lighting towers with bollards and chains through the car park section to prevent cars from inadvertently parking on it and to prevent workers accessing the rail corridor from driving their equipment over it. Being constructed using asphalt, any repairs that may be needed in the future will be simple and inexpensive. Almost immediately, a number of Train Crew have been seen to be using it despite there being a difficult to access boundary lock on the outside of the access gate. Crew have already said they prefer the pathway to having to navigate the commuter car park or the bus terminal.

Completed path with bollards/chain arrangement and completed fencing

Access to the pathway is via a gate located near the lifts to the bus terminal. Luckily, there is a pedestrian crossing already there and we are only required to deal with empty busses rather than cars. The gate will eventually have swipe access with a Bi-Lock as a secondary system in case of a power outage. The contractors who were installing the swipe reader broke some of their equipment so, in the interim, only the Bi-Lock will be used which will limit the use to those with Bi-Lock keys only. Once the swipe reader is installed, access to the path will be to all staff.

The access gateway location and the Bi-Lock

The pathway was officially opened after the Depot Forum and BBQ on Friday May 5 with Management and local RTBU & WHS Representatives in attendance. Walking times have not changed as a result of the opening and, with the opening of the path, this sees all major items that were agreed to as part of the construction of the new Crew Facility now in place.

Official opening 11-05-2018

(L-R) Rino Matarazzo, Paul Bartolo (Blacktown Crew Manager), Kevin Wilson (Drivers RTBU), Keith McMahon (WHS Drivers), Dalwinder Josan (WHS Guards). Vishnu Nandaskar (Guards RTBU) took the photo.

Kevin Wilson

Drivers Depot Organiser

RTBU Locomotive Division

Blacktown Sub-Division

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