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MORE than 400 engineers have been working on Sydney’s rail network overnight in an effort to prevent widespread delays this morning after a nightmare weekend for customers.
All eyes will be on the network this morning as it attempts to handle the first commute since scheduled upgrades triggered massive delays and a customer backlash over the weekend.
Back-up buses are on standby, after the replacement of a 39-year-old signalling box caused delays of up to three hours for many yesterday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded and frustrated.
There are reports of cancellations on the network this morning, including the 07:53 Epping to Central service and Sydney Trains’ Twitter page has already notified customers of several cancelled services.
Sydney Trains, on Friday, warned “pretty significant trackwork”, including an upgrade to an ageing signalling system, would affect the City Circle line during Saturday and Sunday.
But assurances from the NSW government agency that staff and buses would ease the pain fell on deaf ears as angry commuters began reporting multiple cancelled trains and long delays.
Some reported being late to work by two or three hours while others said they were “breaking up” with trains and felt forced to add more cars to the congested roads.
Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins said he’d be on deck on Monday morning to monitor any knock-on effects from the weekend’s chaos.
He called on travellers to check information about Sydney’s trains on Monday and asked them to understand delays were not the fault of rail staff and station employees.
“I would ask every customer out there, don’t take it out on our staff,’’ Mr Collins said.
‘‘They’re doing the best they can. We’ve got to understand these things sometimes do happen. We will deal with your complaints.”
However, speaking to 9 News this morning, Mr Collins said everything was in order across the city’s vast network so far — but added there will be replacements on standby in case the system comes to a standstill.
Customers may be compensated for the weekend’s chaos. Picture: David Swift.Source:News Corp Australia
He said the network will consider compensating passengers caught up in the rail chaos on Sunday after an upgrade to an ageing signalling system took longer than expected.
“I apologise for those people who had big delays yesterday,” Mr Collins told the Nine Network on Monday morning. “If you missed a flight or had a big inconvenience we will consider compensation. Let us know.”
This article first appeared on www.news.com.au
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