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Delays to Sydney's trains are likely to be "cumulative and irrecoverable" during peak hours following incidents, as the biggest overhaul of the rail timetable in years places greater strain on Sydney's rail network, an internal document reveals.
Sydney Trains warns in the leaked document that operating the network at "track capacity" for longer periods leaves "no opportunity for diversions or recovery from incidents". Delays early in the peak periods will also have a "larger impact on later peak services".
Marked "commercial in confidence", the briefing document says cancellations and skipped stops "could result in crowding and other problems" on the network.
And it warns that during the evening peak, the "North Shore experience" – a reference to part of the network highly sensitive to slight delays – will "become more widespread where delays are cumulative".
Sydney Trains lists among the challenges of the timetable changes a reduction in the "reliability buffer" from extended dwell times of trains at stations; and more complex operations at Parramatta.
Among the "customer risks" Sydney Trains identified were complaints from passengers travelling to Westmead Hospital, following a halving of services to Westmead station, from 12 to six, during the morning peak.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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