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Sydney: World's best city
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope you are proud of this Cityrail

From The Sydney Morning Herald

Reform plans after CityRail fails world test
Matthew Moore Freedom of Information Editor
June 1, 2007

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AdvertisementRAILCORP has promised big changes to Sydney's rail system in the wake of eight reports that detail how badly the network performs compared with overseas services.

The chief executive of RailCorp, Vince Graham, pledged to improve train maintenance and to introduce new work patterns for drivers and reallocate station staff after the benchmarking studies were given to the Herald under freedom of information laws.

The studies, conducted more than a year ago by the consulting arm of Mass Transit Railway (MTR), which operates Hong Kong's rail service, show Sydney's service is far less reliable than others, that stations are overstaffed and drivers spend less than half their working hours driving trains.

One of the reports reveals that automatic doors on CityRail's trains are 10 times more unreliable than those on MTR trains, with the local braking systems three times more unreliable than those in Hong Kong.

"The above benchmarking of the door system - which is the most troublesome area for many railway operators worldwide - had not even taken into account that the number of doors on a [MTR] car is 2.5 times more than CityRail," one report says.

Trains leak, control and monitoring systems are not up to scratch and maintenance staff working in three separate centres have "no/little communication" on analysing faults, which means there is little improvement in train maintenance.

In Hong Kong there is a daily video conference among all five depots to review the previous day's failures, the report says, urging a similar system be introduced here.

A report on station staffing says Sydney's overall costs per passenger are six times above the average of major rail systems, while station staffing costs are three to four times the average.

RailCorp drivers need to spend 65 minutes preparing a suburban train, checking brakes and other devices before picking up passengers, while MTR drivers spend only 18 minutes doing this job.

One report says cutting station staff could save $70 million to $120 million a year.

But such savings would mean some stations would be left with no staff. Ticket offices would disappear and be replaced by machines - as happens with networks in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Morale and high rates of absenteeism are problems in numerous areas of Sydney's network, with poor middle management a big obstacle to improving the service.

Mr Graham said he was changing the network as a result of the reports and cited a $13 million program to replace door motors on all pre-Tangara trains.

Within 12 to 18 months station managers would be given real power to run their stations and resolve problems as they arose without waiting for approval from head office, Mr Graham said.

Rather than cut staff numbers, he wanted to relocate them to jobs such as selling tickets to better serve the public.

"We are not going to tick, tick tick this as a cost-cutting exercise. Some things are going to cost a bit more. I would like to think people should not queue more than five minutes on a Monday morning."

Although he conceded aspects of the reports surprised him, he rejected the claim that CityRail's placement in last position in many of the league tables meant it was among the world's worst.

He had tried and failed in the past to reorganise station staff to better serve the public, but promised a renewed attempt in September when wage negotiations begin with the rail unions.
 

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If the benchmark sees the cityrail system with less staffed stations then I would prefer we stay at the bottom of that list.
 

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dink!
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We need to introduce the smart card system before cutting any staff.
Absolutely.

And cutting station staff I think would only really work with entirely new lines and stations being built with this in mind - station platform doors opening with train doors, designed ticketing booths with station master visible, automated trains etc. I really hope any metro lines we eventually get have this sort of setup, or one exactly like Hong Kong. Hong Kong's MTR is amazing.
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cutting staff wont work. Some stations need the extra staff such as Strathfield. It's short of ticket staff and the gates are unmanned even at peak hours.
 

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When i was at school there was always a ticket inspector at Gordon station. I haven't seen one there for the past year, although i'm often travelling at off peak times.
 

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Cutting staff wont work. Some stations need the extra staff such as Strathfield. It's short of ticket staff and the gates are unmanned even at peak hours.
They've had someone manning the gate lately.

However, lately i've found there's no one at the ticket box.

That's shite because I hate using the ticket machine.
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There are people manning the gate at Strathfield, but there have been periods when it is unattended.

And did you mean the ticket office is often closed??? What times of day are you talking about? I have always seen at least one booth open.
 

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skyscraper connoisseur
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Smart Card system is not enough. Japan is now releasing mobile enabled system where you can replace your whole wallet on a mobile.
 

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Most station staff do not know what is going on anyway. You ask them a question about the schedule and they do not have a clue.
 

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the one
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Smart Card system is not enough. Japan is now releasing mobile enabled system where you can replace your whole wallet on a mobile.
well japan is always years ahead, in hong kong they have octopus on watches and jewelery( they ve had that for about 7 years already)
 

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Galactic Ruler
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The octopus cards are great, great for swiping cigarettes, drinks and snacks from 7-11 and then swiping it and jumping on the train or other transport mode.

It's just far easier to carry a card that can do all that rather than worry about wallets and tickets and all the bullshit we have here. You can just leve the octopus cards in yor wallet anyway and just swipe the entire thing.
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Most station staff do not know what is going on anyway. You ask them a question about the schedule and they do not have a clue.
Yes, they cancel trains and won't even make an announcement that it's been cancelled nor explain why the trains are held up.
 

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I notice on some ticket machines that there's a"T-Card" logo or word on them. The one at St James station has it. What's the go? Weren't they trialling a T-card system for some Private schools??

I agree, we need an integrated smart card transport system.. and pronto!
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
All school students using private bus services that hold a schoolpass have to carry a T-Card and scan it through the reader when they board the bus.
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thats disgraceful. They are happy to tell when signals are down affecting all services but they cannot even mention why one train may be delayed.

I'm hopeful that under reforms to Railcorp, they will have to be more accountable for delays . I hope Iemma keeps his word.
 

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Unacquainted Acquaintance
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The main problems with internal Comms within RailCorp is that basically everything goes upstream fine, it just doesn't get relayed back down very well.

Hopefully the improved signalling system, once it's completed, will help to fix this.
 
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