This timetable was doomed to begin with, if one goes back to perhaps the most similar one that cost the then Transport minister Brian Langton his job, and handing over to the roads minister Scully, and Langton's eventual replacement with Sartor at the following election, means that with some hope that will happen to those main culprits of this latest attempt to fit trains into a space that has none of it left.
If I hear correctly from the few drivers I know that are on the City Rail working, they say that the last two enterprise agreements (at least the last two) saw their pay and conditions worsen, with extended shifts, more in cab time with limited relief points, harassment to work more hours and on their days off, some were rostered on days they had claimed off according to their rosters, but when refusing to work on that day they were charged with refusing duty.
Many, perhaps most of them come onto the job off the street with no real idea of what is in front of them, a brief school of so many weeks, training on simulators, but for how long? do they do a full shift as if working an actual roster, and do they do it over all lines?
Fitting more trains into the bottle neck between the old Illawarra Jct where trains off the west have to cross to the Suburban for the run through Redfern and then to the underground - Shore or circle has no real room for anymore trains, as Brian Langton found out to his cost, and in reality the systems eventual loss.
Turn backs were put in place at locations such as Lidcombe, Homebush among others, but why was none put in in Sydney Yard? There is enough or was enough room to put at least 3 roads for 8 car sets in the empty space which used to be a carriage service area called Bondi, next to the approach to the down shore platform. These roads could have had up terminating trains at Central turned back to those roads after the passengers detrained, at the rate of time it would take for the driver to change ends it would have been empty, and then head into those roads. Terminating trains from at least the last 2 or 3 Country platforms could have allowed at least 3 extra services to have come into the station in the morning peak.
What happened to the stable roads at St James? IIRC, there were at least 4 trains that stabled in there after the morning peak and resumed in the afternoon peak? These trains were readily able to run without any disruptions to other services, as they did not tie up the whole of the city circle in either the morning or evening peaks.
The other aspect is that the trams to Dulwich Hill have had little affect on taking the load off the roads, but had they rebuilt the old Goods line to take passenger trains, they could have taken a lot of the load off the Sydnenham - Redfern section. At worst it only had to be wired from Darling Harbour to Balmain Road and a gauntlet track through the Wentworth Park Tunnel.
What really is behind these issues though? Dare I suggest something that our illustrious Transport Minister quipped on Monday evening as being his ultimate goal.
This sort of thing will always be a problem until we get rid of drivers off the trains and buses. That was the very thrust of what he implied and why he and the Premier push the agenda of basically creating a scene of mayhem for their political expedience.