Illawarra Newsroom

Buses replace trains on South Coast line as rail workers strike again


Train drivers have walked off the job for the second time in a week with major delays expected across the region.

They're refusing to drive foreign built trains which will disrupt around three-quarters of the network today.

Trains are running at a reduced frequency while buses are replacing services on the South Coast line between Port Kembla and Wollongong, Wollongong and Thirroul and Wollongong and Kiama.

Alex Claassens from the Rail, Tram and Bus Union said they want the government to tear up the contract it has signed with a Spanish company to manufacture a new fleet of trains to run throughout regional NSW.

The Spanish company is the same company responsible for the inner-west trams, which are currently all off the tracks as a result of cracking throughout the fleet.

The Union said the trams are out of warranty, which could mean taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for the repairs.

Claassens said for the NSW Government to push ahead with the contract for the New Regional Fleet in the face of worker concerns and in the wake of the light rail issues would be irresponsible.

"The NSW Government needs to put a hold on all overseas manufacturing contracts.

"Workers have had grave safety concerns about these new trains even before we knew about the company's shocking track-record.

"The New Regional Fleet is designed to be built in such a way that the front carriage would be at real risk of derailment if it hits anything like a fallen tree or an animal on the tracks.

"That's a serious concern given that in Australia, particularly regional Australia, hitting things on our tracks is commonplace," he said.

The RTBU understands that the NSW Government has signed a contract with the Spanish company, but the final design has not been signed off yet.

For the latest timetable info click HERE.