Sydney train commuters, brace yourselves: things are about to get even more hectic (read: completely fucked and unreliable) because NSW Transport is embarking on a huge trackwork project that will require shutting lines every weekend for a year.
Trackwork buses — AKA what my worst nightmares revolve around — will become the norm during the huge maintenance blitz, which will see major work undertaken on every line across the Sydney train network.
The “biggest co-ordinated program ever” is in response to a review of the Sydney rail service which found that there was a backlog of more than 40,000 unresolved defects, according to ABC News.
The Sydney Trains Review panel released its interim report last month which revealed how dire events like extreme weather conditions, industrial action and the 2017 timetable changes had been on maintenance of tracks.
There were three huge disruptions in March alone, including that time the trains absolutely carked it for two hours because of a communications failure, which the network was actually warned about a year beforehand.
“We have to fix our rail network and it’s going to take a massive effort,” Transport Minister Jo Haylen said, per ABC News.
“The work will be around the clock from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday.
“It’s a year or more of pain but it will deliver the huge, world-class train system Sydney needs and deserves.”
The work involves almost 4,000 repairs and upgrades which will start this weekend and cost about $97 million — impacting around 600,000 passengers.
“People have lost faith in the system,” Haylen said, per 9News.
She said the network had been neglected for years, leading to substandard performance.
“They’ve been burnt too many times. We simply must take this on and get it done. Continuing system failures and meltdowns are not an option.”
The new train timetables are up on Transport NSW’s website, and you can see the replacement bus schedule here — but considering the trackwork buses rarely show up at the time that they’re meant to anyway, I guess it doesn’t make much difference.
RIP to everyone who works on weekends and will now have to leave an hour earlier than usual or be late for every shift for the next year.
Image: Getty Images / Education Images