RailCorp can’t say how train wire broke

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RailCorp can’t say how train wire broke

Date March 13, 2013 44 reading now

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Saffron Howden

Rural and Indigenous Affairs Reporter

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RailCorp is at a loss to explain how 300 metres of electrical wiring that helps power its trains fell on top of a Tangara train just before morning peak hour, delaying and inconveniencing thousands of passengers.

More than eight hours after the train stopped just short of Epping station en route to Strathfield at about 5.45am on Tuesday morning, the northern line reopened in time for the afternoon peak.

RailCorp operations director Tony Eid said an investigation had been launched into how the wiring came down, but an immediate explanation was unclear.

”Normally, wiring is one of the most reliable pieces of infrastructure,” he said. ”It very rarely fails. It’s an unusual situation.”

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The train was carrying no passengers at that early hour and contained only the driver and a guard, Mr Eid said. ”The driver reported that he lost power.”

The wires, which supply electricity to power the train, fell and became entangled.

While 300 metres dropped, only 2.5 metres had to be replaced altogether, Mr Eid said. The remainder was re-tensioned.

Services were suspended on the line until 2.20pm, causing delays of up to one hour for morning commuters. Buses replaced trains on the northern line between Hornsby and Epping while other passengers were redirected onto the North Shore line.

State Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian apologised to the people affected. ”The safety of train customers is always a priority,” she said.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union said it was ”alarming” that the state government was going to cut 450 maintenance positions at RailCorp over the next few years as part of its rail shake-up.

”Incidents like these have become an all too common headache for NSW commuters,” the union’s national secretary, Bob Nanva, said. ”We deserve a safe and reliable rail network, but the current system is suffering from years of underinvestment in maintenance by governments of all political persuasion.”

Ms Berejiklian rejected renewed calls for a fare-free day following seven separate problems identified by the state opposition as causing major delays on the network since early February.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/railcorp-cant-say-how-train-wire-broke-20130312-2fyga.html#ixzz2NMvHoOsN

One thought on “RailCorp can’t say how train wire broke

  1. Neville

    12 March, 2013

    We are seeing many lengthy delays on our transportsystem.
    The cuts that Govt’s are making in rail staff can omly result
    in a detioration of rail services and safety.
    Had this train been service, electroction of passengers may
    have occurred.

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