Tourism operators fear overcrowded trains will deter visitors to the Blue Mountains
Whilst the current NSW Government would have commuters believe a world class railway is being delivered across the state, the RTBU and Locomotive Division members are well aware that on any given weekend, what is purported to be a safe, reliable and enjoyable day trip for tourists has in fact a very different reality.
That reality is an overcrowded, dangerous and often frustrating journey to and from one of NSW biggest tourism draw cards – the magnificent Blue Mountains.
So we were not surprised to read in the Sydney Morning Herald today that tourism operators are fearing for their future, worried that the unpleasant and downright unsafe journey will put tourists and families off.
It wasn’t always like this – some five years ago tourists and families used to enjoy a relaxed, comfortable and pleasant journey to destinations like the Three Sisters and the tourist precincts of the Blue Mountains. But then the current State Government decided to slash the services on weekends from eight to four carriages.
Now, whilst NSW TrainLink are busy promoting discounted and cheaper seasonal fares in an effort to gain even more patronage, carriages sit unused in Yards and Sidings at Mt Victoria and Lithgow, leaving tourists and day trippers with small children to stand for two hours in aisles and stairs, often cheek to jowl, whilst prams and strollers pile up blocking access and emergency exits.
Ruthless cutbacks to weekend station staff has made the situation even worse – visitors are now greeted by crowded and unsafe trains and few support staff. It’s enough to taint any trip to the Blue Mountains.
Read the article in the Sydney Morning Herald for more, including comments from the RTBU National Secretary Bob Nanva and Labor MP for the Blue Mountains Trish Doyle.