Sydney Trains Agency Information Guide
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009(GIPA Act) provides members of the public with a right of access to government information. The GIPA Act replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FOI).
Under the GIPA Act, each NSW Government department and agency is required to publish an Agency Information Guide.
This Information Guide provides a general description of:
- our agency’s structure and functions
- the way in which our functions affect members of the public
- how members of the public can participate in policy formulation and provide feedback
- the kinds of information we hold, and
- information we make publicly available
Sydney Trains is a New South Wales Government agency, forming part of the Transport portfolio, delivering rail services to the Greater Sydney metropolitan area.
In the Transport cluster, Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is responsible for strategy, integration, coordination and improving the customer experience. More information on delivery of transport infrastructure and services in NSW is available in the TfNSW Information Guide.
Transport operators, including Sydney Trains, focus on the provision of safe, clean, reliable and efficient transport services. Our legislated mandate is to deliver, maintain and provide safe and reliable passenger rail services throughout the Greater Sydney metropolitan area.
What we do
Sydney Trains provides metropolitan passenger rail services.
Sydney Trains is responsible for the safe operation, crewing and maintenance of passenger trains and stations. Sydney Trains also owns and maintains the metropolitan rail network and provides access to freight and passenger operators in the metropolitan area. Sydney Trains also maintains NSW Trains’ rolling stock and the NSW TrainLink intercity rail network.
RailCorp is a NSW government agency that holds rail property assets and rail infrastructure in the Sydney Metropolitan area and limited country locations in the state of NSW and makes these assets available to Sydney Trains for its operations.
TfNSW’s Information Access Unit is responsible for centralised acknowledgement on behalf of, and referral of formal access applications to the following NSW Government agencies within the Transport cluster:
- Sydney Trains
- NSW Trains
- Point to Point Transport Commissioner
- Sydney Metro
- State Transit Authority
- Transport Asset Holding Entity
TfNSW also provides resources to support Sydney Trains, Sydney Metro and the Transport Asset Holding Entity process and make decisions on applications received by those agencies. Each Transport cluster agency remains responsible for making decisions regarding the release of information held by their organisation under the GIPA Act.
The TfNSW Information Guide provides more detail on access to information in the Transport cluster.
There are seven Branches which make up the organisational structure of Sydney Trains:
- Customer Operations –delivers quality and consistent day-to-day customer service by providing visible and empowered staff, accurate and timely information, a safe and secure journey and clean trains and stations. A key focus is to continually improve our customer satisfaction results to meet the standards our customers expect. The Branch is also responsible for service control and operations, including the Rail Operations Centre, service planning, signal boxes and network security. Customer Operations also manages network incidents and emergency response for the network.
- Engineering & Maintenance – manages a $1.4 billion annual maintenance program on behalf of Sydney Trains and NSW Trains – delivering a safe, reliable passenger fleet and metropolitan rail network, to meet the expectations of our customers every day.
- Finance & Business Services – provides finance, legal, governance, internal audit and investment management services to support Sydney Trains’ operational delivery. Finance & Business Services is also responsible for the delivery and management of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and strategic procurement functions.
- Strategy, Portfolio & Investment – oversees the significant program of works needed to build our network and cater for future growth, working to deliver extra services and better infrastructure to accommodate future demand. The Branch also supports the implementation of transformation of the railway to become more customer-focused, sustainable and ready to deliver world-class train services in Sydney.
- People & Corporate Affairs – oversees People Business Partners, Communications, Workplace Relations and Organsiational Development. People & Corporate Affairs is responsible for attracting, developing and retaining a skilled workforce that can meet Sydney Trains' needs by supporting and inspiring employees and managers. The Branch is also responsible for facilitating ongoing communication between Sydney Trains, its employees, our customers, the media and managing Government Relations
- Safety, Environment & Risk – establishes and maintains Sydney Trains’ safety and environment systems and the strategic policies which underpin these systems. The Branch manages the relationship with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), the Office of Transport Safety Investigation (OTSI), the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and WorkCover NSW.
- Train Crewing– focuses on train crew and their operational support. Train Crewing plays a critical role in providing safe, reliable train services to our customers. Operations Support helps improve operational performance through strategic solutions.
The way in which our functions affect members of the public
Train Reliability and Performance
Sydney Trains works hard to meet its punctuality targets and get all our customers to their destination on time.
The performance of our network can be impacted by a range of factors, including incidents which cause trains to be delayed or not reach their destination. It is important to note that a single incident can have more than one cause, and can delay more than one train.
Issues affecting reliability and punctuality may include signal, track, overhead wiring and points problems, sick customers on trains, extreme weather conditions or storms, floods, fires and speed restrictions.
Sydney Trains is responsible for the cleanliness of carriages and stations and provides a 24-hour, seven-day cleaning service at depots and selected stations.
Safety and Security
Safety is at the heart of Sydney Trains and includes the safety of customers, employees, contractors and the community.
Sydney Trains has a comprehensive Safety Management System to help the organisation meet and, in many cases, exceed its regulatory and statutory requirements.
We have emergency help points on every platform of all our stations, which are directly linked to our trained security operators 24 hours a day. Some of our trains also have emergency help points which are directly linked to the Train Guard on board that service.
We also have more than 13,000 CCTV cameras monitoring our network.
Sydney Trains works closely with stakeholders and the wider community to continually improve services and achieve better outcomes for our customers.
Sydney Trains is committed to putting the customer at the centre of everything we do, and welcomes feedback about the services it provides. Customers can visit the www.transportnsw.info webpage for information on train services including real-time status alerts and to provide feedback including compliments, complaints or suggestions. Customers can also submit queries online or via the Sydney Trains Facebook or Twitter accounts.
We also have frontline customer service staff working at every station across the Sydney Trains network. These staff members are able to provide information to customers on our services and respond to their queries. They are also immersed in their local community and work closely with community groups and stakeholders to run events at stations.
Community consultation and engagement
Sydney Trains ensures community notification and consultation are incorporated into any project, planned station upgrade or trackwork.
In accordance with its Environment Protection Licence, Sydney Trains advises neighbouring residents of any proposed railway maintenance or construction activity being conducted outside normal business hours. Residences and businesses within a 200 metre radius of a work site receive a letterbox drop at least five days prior to work starting.
These notices are also published on the Transport for NSW website, and details of upcoming work is available on the Maintenance and Construction work webpage.
Sydney Trains also prepares a Review of Environment Factors (REF) to assess the environmental impacts of any proposed construction work. These REFs are available on the Transport for NSW website and provided via a letterbox drop to surrounding residents and businesses.
We also engage with the community in locations of particular concern around rail noise, to better understand residents’ concerns and increase their understanding of operational requirements and constraints.
Type of information held
Sydney Trains holds a wide variety of information concerning its operations, procedures, policies, along with data and other information relating to the management of the rail system in Sydney.
Sydney Trains also routinely collects information from its customers for administrative, planning and reporting purposes.
Sydney Trains is required to comply with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (PPIP Act) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) (HRIP Act) when dealing with the personal and health information of its customers, employees and partners.
Information made publicly available
The following categories of information provide a sample of what is made publicly available on the Transport for NSW website:
- Timetable and trip planning information
- Performance information
- Information about Opal cards and calculating train fares
- Information about advertising on the Sydney Trains network
- Details of planned maintenance and construction work
- Information about Sydney Trains’ commitment to the environment and sustainability
- Covid 19 – Travel advice and information
Open access Information
Open access information is a category of information explained further below under ‘Information we must disclose’.
- The Sydney Trains Information Guide (this publication)
- The Sydney Trains Annual Report
- The RailCorp Annual Report
- Sydney Trains' Corporate Plan
- The Sydney Trains disclosure log of access applications
- Register of Sydney Trains Government Contracts
- Sydney Trains' Privacy Management Plan
For further information, please contact the Information Access Unit by phone on 02 8202 3768 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Data Policy
The Transport Open Data Policy is aligned to the NSW Government Open Data Policy and seeks to make appropriate government data available to industry and the community. Open data supports the open government principles of transparency, participation, collaboration and innovation. It augments the proactive release of information required under the GIPA Act.
TfNSW is committed to embedding open data principles at all levels of the cluster, as this can lead to faster, smarter, more responsive service delivery. It promotes the development of new businesses and industries that can make use of government data, facilitates data sharing between government agencies and enhances our own awareness, understanding and use of information.
Open Data principles are embedded across the Transport cluster by:
- Engaging with industry and the community to understand their needs for transport data
- Prioritising for release any high-value datasets, especially those identified through industry and community engagement
- Releasing data under open licence wherever possible
- Protecting data where required on the grounds of privacy, security, confidentiality legal privilege or public interest
Sydney Trains supports the Transport Open Data Policy, and is represented within a wide range of transport data available via the TfNSW Open Data Hub which includes public transport and roads real-time data, statistical data and timetable data.
How to access information we hold
There are four ways that members of the public can access government information held by Sydney Trains under the GIPA Act.
- Mandatory proactive release (Open Access Information)
- Authorised proactive release
- Informal release
- Access applications.
Information We Must Disclose
Sydney Trains makes Open Access Information publicly available on the Transport for NSW website free of charge, including this publication (agency information guide), information about Sydney Trains tabled in Parliament (such as the Sydney Trains and RailCorp Annual Reports), policy documents, the Sydney Trains register of government contracts and the agency disclosure log of access applications.
Information Proactively Released
Sydney Trains is required to have a program for the proactive release of government information.
Proactive disclosure is the manner in which Sydney Trains considers making information publicly available where appropriate. The proactive disclosure of information helps provide the public with greater access to government held information.
Sydney Trains is a member of the Transport Cluster Proactive Disclosure Committee that meets regularly to consider and recommend information suitable for proactive disclosure. The Committee is chaired on a rotating basis by a senior Transport cluster executive in order to convey to staff the importance of proactive disclosure as part of day to day business.
Information proactively disclosed by Sydney Trains is made available on this website.
If information sought is not available on the Sydney Trains website, members of the public can suggest that information be proactively disclosed (if held).
Please forward any suggestions to the Information Access Unit by email to email@example.com
Informal requests for Information
Sydney Trains may attach conditions to the informal disclosure of information. For example, we may provide access on a view-only basis where the requested information is sensitive and should remain confidential, but is relevant to the person making the request.
Under the GIPA Act, a right of review only applies for formal applications.
If you would like to make an informal request for information, please contact the Information Access Unit on (02) 9549 9904 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Formal access applications
In some cases, requests for information held by Sydney Trains will need to be made through the formal access application process.
To make a formal application for information held by Sydney Trains, an access application must:
- be in writing and addressed to the agency
- clearly indicate that it is a formal access application made under the GIPA Act
- provide a payment of $30 (by cheque or credit card)
- provide a postal address for correspondence in connection with an application
- include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the government information applied for to be identified
If your application does not meet the above requirements, it will be invalid and the application will not be processed. However, in order to help you make a valid application, we will contact you to provide advice and assistance.
You may make an online application for information.
You may send your application by post with a payment by cheque or money order to:
Information Access Unit
Transport for NSW
PO Box K659
Haymarket NSW 1240
If you would like to make an access application, please see How to apply and FAQs
Formal access application fees and charges
Apart from the $30 application fee, the GIPA Act allows Sydney Trains to impose a charge of $30 per hour in order to process an application. The application fee counts towards the first hour of processing.
In processing a formal access application, Sydney Trains is required to ensure that it is dealt with efficiently and provides access to information requested at the lowest reasonable cost.
A 50 per cent discount in processing charges will apply if an applicant demonstrates they fall within any of the following categories:
- A member of the public suffering financial hardship
- The information applied for is of special benefit to the public
- The holder of a current Pensioner Concession Card
- Full-time students
- Non-profit organisations
Please note that the 50 per cent discount applies only to processing charges and not to the $30 application fee.
If applying for your own personal information, Sydney Trains cannot charge for the first 20 hours of processing.
For further information about fees and charges, please see the Fees and Charges section on our website, or contact the Information Access Unit on (02) 9549 9904 or by email to email@example.com.
Requests for personal information can also be made under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
You have the right to request a review of certain decisions made by Sydney Trains in response to a formal access application. For further information, please view the NSW Information and Privacy Commission’s publication ‘Your review rights under the GIPA Act’.
Information for which there is a specified cost
Sydney Trains does not currently hold any information that falls within this category. If any information in this category becomes available in the future, Sydney Trains will include a dedicated section on the Transport for NSW website, which describes the type or types of information that can be requested and the cost for this information.
For further information relating to the disclosure of government information held by Sydney Trains, the Information Access Unit can be contacted on the details below:
Post Information Access Unit
Transport for NSW
PO Box K659
Haymarket NSW 1240.
Phone (02) 9549 9904
For more information about the GIPA Act and your right to access information (including review rights) contact the NSW Information and Privacy Commission:
Post GPO Box 7011
Sydney NSW 2001
Phone 1800 472 679
Last Updated: December 2020