Sydney train doors stuck, passengers delayed
Friday, September 9, 2005
There were angry scenes, today, at Harris Park train station in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia, when the 9:12am train to the city stopped at the platform but didn't open its doors. The train stood at the station for about sixty seconds before moving off, leaving about seventy potential passengers standing on the platform.
"The guard looked at me and laughed," said one commuter. Some passengers became very angry, yelling at the station attendant and cursing CityRail. "The rail system is a bloody joke!" another commuter yelled.
The station attendant arranged for one of the Western Line express services to stop at Harris Park, which satisfied commuters who, by this time, had started to demand their money back. However, some Harris Park passengers may have been inconvenienced because the train they were forced to catch did not stop at all stations. The next all-stations train was scheduled to arrive half an hour later.
CityRail has stated that the doors were not opened by the train guard because of confusion over the timetable. The train was carrying a guard trainer and a trainee guard. According to a CityRail spokeswoman, they were not aware that the train was going to be stopping at Harris Park.
"The fault is with the guard and they have been disciplined accordingly," the spokeswoman said.
When questioned about reports of the guard laughing at passengers on the platform, the spokeswoman said that she had no information that this had occurred. She said that it was possible that the guards did not even realise that they were stopped at a station. Video footage from the station was used during the investigation.
Many commuters have expressed their dissatisfaction at the state of the rail network for some time, with many writing to major Sydney newspapers. As a result, timetable changes have been implemented by CityRail and the New South Wales state government, justifying the changes as being necessary to improve safety and reliability. The new CityRail timetable, which commenced on September 1, resulted in a decreased service from Harris Park. There are now only two city trains departing between 8am and 9am, down from the previous four - the next train from that station to arrive after 9:12am is at 9:42am.
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