Fixing the trains


Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced the biggest shakeup to the State’s railways in a generation to fix the trains and provide customers with the service standard they deserve.

The Fixing the Trains initiative includes:

  • The breakup of RailCorp and the creation of two new specialist organisations to service the different needs of Sydney and intercity/regional train customers
  • Slashing the top heavy, back office bureaucracy
  • Creating a specialist cleaning unit to attack graffiti and rubbish on dirty trains and stations

“I am determined to give the people of NSW the world-class rail system they deserve,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This is all about making customers the focus of the railways, not the bureaucracy.

“These changes will align rail services to customers’ needs and make it easier for rail employees to do their job.

“Unless we take drastic action, things will continue to get worse – as Transport Minister I am not prepared to stand by and allow that to occur.

“RailCorp is currently financially unsustainable. It costs $10 million a day to run, with costs rising three times as fast as the number of passenger journeys.

“The NSW Government will continue to invest in improving the rail system – but we need to ensure taxpayers and customers get better value for money.”

Breaking up RailCorp and creating two new specialist organisations

  • Sydney Trains will serve customers who need quick, frequent and reliable trains in the greater Sydney suburban area
  • NSW Trains will serve intercity, regional and country customers who travel longer distances and need comfortable and reliable services, with on-board facilities

“The best train systems in the world are focused on the unique needs of their customers. We are adopting that model in NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said.
These new organisations will be established progressively over the next 12-18 months. Once they are fully established RailCorp will cease to operate train services.

From 1 July immediate changes will be made to improve the focus on customer service.

  • A new Customer Service Division will be created to ensure the customer facing elements of RailCorp are focused on delivering outstanding customer service
  • Several existing functions, including construction and major projects, will be transferred to Transport for NSW, bringing rail into line with roads, buses and ferries and ensuring RailCorp and subsequently Sydney Trains and NSW Trains can focus solely on providing customer services

Slashing the top heavy rail bureaucracy

  • Up to 750 voluntary redundancies will be offered to RailCorp middle management, mostly in Head Office, to simplify processes and reduce bureaucracy
  • No frontline staff will be affected

RailCorp has 4 times as many senior bureaucrats for the size of its workforce than the former RTA and 20 times that of the NSW Department of Education & Training.

This multi-layered bureaucracy stifles innovation, slows decision making and makes it more difficult for employees to do their jobs.

Creating a specialist cleaning unit to attack graffiti and rubbish on dirty trains and stations

  • RailCorp’s 870 cleaning staff will be transferred to a specialist subsidiary unit to attack graffiti and rubbish on trains and stations
  • New commercial cleaning benchmarks will be introduced
  • Specialist management and support systems will be brought in

“Customer satisfaction surveys show only 46 per cent are happy with the cleanliness of trains,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Under current archaic industrial demarcation arrangements, cleaning staff can clean over graffiti on carriage walls but graffiti on ceilings, doors and floors has to be left to specialist maintenance staff.

“This means the ceilings, doors and floors of trains currently have ugly graffiti on them for an average of 58 days at a time, while the walls can be cleaned within days.

“Customers want clean trains, seats and stations and these changes will deliver it.”

Ms Berejiklian said customers can expect more changes as part of the NSW Government’s Fixing the Trains program.

“We are developing a broad range of initiatives that are designed to fix our trains and make them world-class – there will be more to come.”

Staff and unions will be consulted on how the changes will be implemented.

Fixing the trains -  additional information (pdf 1MB)