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The number of commuters travelling by train into Sydney's CBD during the busiest hour of the morning peak has surged by almost 8000 in a year, leading to crowding and putting more pressure on central city stations and the broader rail network.
With Sydney's population booming, passenger crowding on trains has worsened over the past year on many of the city's rail lines during the morning peak.
Crowding on trains is worsening on many suburban lines during the morning peak. CREDIT:NICK MOIR
Average passenger loads on trains on the T1 Western, T1 Northern (via Strathfield), the T4 Illawarra and the T8 South lines between 8am and 9am were at least 140 per cent in September last year, new figures from the state's transport agency show.
Passengers start to experience overcrowding when trains reach loads of 135 per cent, which is the benchmark used by transport officials.
Overcrowded carriages also make it more difficult for trains to run on time, because of the longer stopping times needed to load and unload passengers.
In a sign of the pressure on the system, patronage on the suburban rail network is growing at 7 per cent a year, compared with the historical growth rate of 1.2 per cent per annum. In the past five years, train patronage has surged by 30 per cent.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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