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About 500 CountryLink reservations staff have walked off the job for 24 hours to protest against the New South Wales Government's proposed cuts to regional rail services.
Also protesting today are people affected by the planned cutting of an XPT rail service between Casino and Murwillumbah on the NSW north coast.
The strike by CountryLink reservations staff was timed to coincide with the community protest, which will be held at Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney later today.
A train carrying 150 people from northern NSW will arrive in Sydney today for the protest.
NSW Transport Services Minister Michael Costa has said the XPT service would be cut because it was the least viable of all CountryLink services.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW secretary Nick Lewocki said today the Government planned to close NSW CountryLink travel centres, relocate the Sydney reservation centre and reduce staffing at CountryLink stations.
The rationalisation of CountryLink services and cutting of the North Coast XPT service would cost at least 400 jobs, Mr Lewocki said.
“The closure of the Casino to Murwillumbah line is just a symptom of the overall problem we're facing and that is a major rationalisation of CountryLink,” he said.
Mr Lewocki said about 500 staff would take part in the strike action.
“It won't have any impact on rail services, (but) people might be inconvenienced if they're doing advanced bookings for CountryLink services.
The stop-work will end at midnight tonight.
RailCorp chief executive Vince Graham confirmed on Sunday that the CountryLink central reservations office in Sydney would close and travel centres would be examined as part of cuts to to the crippling overheads of CountryLink administration.
CountryLink's rail and coach network reaches 334 destinations in NSW, the ACT, Queensland and Victoria.
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