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The father and grandfather of Bob Carr were train drivers. His Transport Services Minister, Michael Costa, the son of a train guard, once trained to be a train driver and was president of the train drivers' union. Costa's hand-picked rail boss, Vince Graham, is the son of a train driver, and started as an apprentice on the railways.
So why, with such impeccable pedigrees at the top, is our rail system in such a mess and the Government's relationship with train drivers at an all-time low? Perhaps some complex Freudian drama is playing out every time the 7.20 from Bankstown runs late.
The thought is hardly likely to console an army of train travellers who on Monday will join a rare alliance with disgruntled railway workers and refuse to pay fares. It is the culmination of months of frustration and a forerunner to possible strike action that only spells further heartache for commuters.
But, after 19 months in the job, Costa is unmoved. He sees this discontent as an inevitable battle between unions and management for control of RailCorp. "We've had nine CEOs in just over a decade," he said this week in his Macquarie Street office.
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