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Currently, Angelina Mojsovski – a regular train commuter for more than 19 years – can get on a 7.49am train at Fairfield Station and arrive at Central Station some eight stops later in 40 minutes.
Come November 26, when a new timetable is rolled out to cope with record growth in commuter demand, the 7.39am train from Fairfield to Central will take 50 minutes and include 17 stops.
Or one of the other options is the 7.43am train that will take 46 minutes but require a change at Strathfield Station.
In short, it is an end to the express service for Fairfield commuters.
“It does not make sense when our existing line was fine,” she said.
“We have become backwards. It will be slow as they are adding more stops and I’m sure that as more stops will be added we will be having more people on the trains and there will be no seats.”
Another commuter, Lauren (last name withheld) travels from Yennora to St James.
That trip will now come with an additional eight to 10 stops.
She has written to Cabramatta MP Nick Lalich about how the changes will be “detrimental” to western Sydney commuters who catch the train to the city.
“The train trip from Yennora to St James and return will take an additional five minutes. Though, it's difficult to believe that with an additional eight to 10 stops and commuters struggling to get on and off, that the trip is only extended by five minutes,” she wrote.
“It's reasonable to assume that the train will be consistently late and unreliable.”
A Transport for NSW spokesman said in developing a timetable they considered many factors including opal data and customer feedback, which helped them make improvements that meet the needs of the “majority” of customers.
“We have to act now to add capacity on the busiest parts of the network and while this means some customer journeys may be slightly longer, our changes are essential to building a more reliable rail system for the future,” the spokesman said.
“Customers between Canley Vale and Merrylands will have access to more services across the week, with frequency increases of at least 30 per cent at those stations and have at least a 15 minute frequency to the CBD for most of the day.
“Customers at these stations will also benefit from more than 160 new weekend and late night services on the T5 Cumberland Line, which will provide direct access to Parramatta and all stations to Leppington throughout the week.”
The new 7.39am train from Fairfield to Central station.
Sydney Trains will start a new direct link between the inner west and Parramatta on the T2 Line on weekdays. Inner-west services to Sydney's CBD will run as frequently as every six minutes during peak periods – meaning more stops for south-west commuters.
The network map for Sydney's rail network has been refreshed to try to make it easier for commuters and tourists to understand, which includes rebadging the T2 Airport Line the T8 and extending the T5 Line to Leppington and Richmond, and the T2 to Parramatta and Leppington in the southwest.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said it was the single biggest boost to train services to the city's west, and would result in faster travel times for some of those from greater western Sydney and more reliable services for those in the inner west.
Asked in August whether the changes would come at the expense of services on other lines, Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins said: “Overall we're lifting services up across the board [but] yes there are some adjustments in one or two areas.
“[With] every timetable change there might be a few losers, but the vast majority – 90 per cent of those people who are using our services – will see a massive improvement,” he said.
Fairfield MP Guy Zangari said Fairfield has received a “dud deal”.
“The government has taken away our express trains in return for an all-stop service,” he said.
“I cannot fathom how increasing a commuter’s journey by 10 minutes or more is considered an improvement. It's clear the government has lost the plot and has no idea what our community wants or needs.”
Transport for NSW are currently improving services at Canley Vale and Yennora stations to match Fairfield’s level of service so that in busy morning and afternoon peaks commuters will have a train around every seven and half minutes instead of around every 15 minutes today.
This article first appeared on www.fairfieldchampion.com.au
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