New Year rail timetable changes upsets commuters

There seems to be a disconnect somewhere in Transport for NSW in relation to advising the public about changes to rail timetables. 

They seem to think it is ok to just make changes and advise people later – if at all? 

In this case, the Goulburn Post caught them out, thanks members of the Southern Tablelands Rail Users Group (STRUG). 

The changes concern morning services from December 27 through to January 1, with an 8:26am OPAL train service from Goulburn to Central replacing the 7:30am service. 

You might think “big deal” – but the issue here is the need to notify people – and more than by just a website. Not everyone has access to computers.

And even if they did – just putting something on a website does not mean people will know about it. Posters in railway stations is a better idea and thankfully they are also doing this too – now. 

The later service is annoying and inconvenient to those who are travelling to Sydney for medical and other appointments because they will now arrive into Sydney much later. 

The Transport for NSW response says the changes are occurring because of “reduced demand” over the Christmas and New Year period.

Excuse me – what planet are they on? This is a very busy time for travellers. Rail services are almost booked out over these weeks, with people travelling home or away for Christmas. Anyone travelling by train this week would have witnessed the crowded Southern Highlands and Tablelands railway stations first hand. 

The Transport for NSW spokesperson also said: “a positive change is an additional 5:49pm service from Central to Goulburn has been added to the timetable on these dates, as well as all weekends through to the end of January.”

However, a perusal of the timetable that came in on November 26 already lists a 17.49 OPAL service from Sydney to Goulburn on weekends and a similar 17.39 OPAL service on weekdays – so is this an additional service at all? Do they even know their own timetable?