Commuter jinxed by train travel

Train delays are becoming too frequent for many passengers on the Southern Line, with a recent case 

JINXED?: Goulburn resident and regular train commuter Barry McDonald feels jinxed after several bad experiences travelling on trains to Sydney.

JINXED?: Goulburn resident and regular train commuter Barry McDonald feels jinxed after several bad experiences travelling on trains to Sydney.

“I am starting to feel a bit jinxed about traveling on passenger trains to and from Sydney,” Goulburn resident Barry McDonald said. 

“In about one in every three trips, I get caught in delays caused by broken down freight trains.  This is becoming quite common.  

Mr McDonalds sent the following feedback complaint to Transport for NSW about the Wednesday 16:01 Central to Goulburn train. 

The doomed trip 

“I boarded the 16:01 Central to Goulburn Endeavour service at Central to return home to Goulburn.  All was fine until we reached Picton when we were told the train was terminating due to a broken down freight train ahead of us blocking the line.  All passengers were told to get off the train and wait outside the station entrance,” Mr McDonald said. 

“We were then told buses were being arranged to continue our journey.  There was only one station staff member on duty and she was unprepared for the situation. 

“She made some ambiguous announcements which only left many of us asking more questions for clarification. The public address system was not the greatest - we couldn't hear much as there were no speakers outside the station where we had to wait.

“Buses arrived to take passengers as far as Moss Vale but eventually the rest of us (beyond Moss Vale) were told to go back to the station platform and await the Canberra Explorer Service.  This had me and others puzzled since our train had to be terminated.  How could the Canberra Explorer proceed further?

“When the Canberra Explorer arrived, the driver and guard were clearly unaware of our situation and some 30 minutes of phone calls and communication followed culminating in us being allowed to board the train. 

“We then continued our journey to Goulburn - arriving two hours late - and the Explorer continued to Canberra.

“I am not blaming Transport for NSW and its staff for the situation caused by the broken down freight train, but it is clear the there are no contingency plans or communication procedures in place for such situations occuring. 

“Freight trains breaking down are becoming quite common on the Southern Highlands Line causing delays to passenger services.”  

“Transport for NSW should develop procedures to implement for such situations so that your staff are not left unable to clearly advise passengers of contingency arrangements.  This includes communication to following train services to pick up stranded passengers.”

Another bad trip

Mr McDonald also experienced a “horror” trip to Sydney on January 17 this year.  

That train, scheduled to depart at 7.34am, was delayed by eight minutes. The Southern Highlands train chugged on until Bargo, where the train stopped for 20 minutes and again  for 40 minutes at Tahmoor due to a broken down freight train. Instead of arriving at 10.40am, He arrived at Central at midday.

His return trip from Central was also a late, squashed in affair, he recounted.