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Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
ON the Penrith-bound train, people are jammed in like sardines, clinging to anything they can wrap their hands around.
On an inter-city express, passengers like Leslie Charalapides hang up jackets, relax and read a book.
Which train would you rather travel on?
CityRail insists their express trains mean exactly that - you have to go to the ultimate destination.
Anyone caught fudging a ride is liable for a $100 fine. However the ruling doesn't seem to have dampened the enthusiasm of the city's express riders.
Groups of 60 or so suburban commuters ride home in relative luxury every afternoon, hitching a ride on inter-city trains bound for Lithgow, Goulburn and Dapto.
The ride is not without risk - their secret society is under fire from CityRail, which is fining them $100 for getting off trains at "pick-up only" stations.
The passengers on the 3.59pm Central to Lithgow express have taken tactical train travel to a whole new level.
Sneaky commuters have been happy to reveal the tips and tricks they use to avoid being caught. Five-year express train veteran Dennis Korvemma, said many passengers play an elaborate "cat and mouse" game every day.
"It's all tactics," Mr Korvemma said, "you always sit in the rear carriage at the bottom, because you can see the transit officers get on."
"They always get on at Parramatta, so when you see them you move forward and get off."
Sure enough, when transit officers boarded the train, half a dozen people scurried off.
Another trick is to buy a ticket to Emu Plains, the station one along from Penrith.
As the transit officers moved through the carriage, the regular Penrith commuters produce their Emu Plains tickets.
CityRail said the "pick-up only" rule ensures "as many passengers travelling to the outer areas of the network can get a seat".
Suburban passengers argue that if they have a valid ticket, why shouldn't they be allowed to use that train?
"I don't see why this is a problem, there are plenty of seats," Mr Korvemma said.
Falconbridge resident Leslie Charalapides agreed, saying he "always got a seat".
"I don't mind if people get off at Blacktown or Penrith, it's silly to stop them," Mr Charalapides said.
The Daily Telegraph (via News.com.au)
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