You clearly don't appreciate the man-hours of orange safety vests required for this, nor the new standards implemented which specify minimum (non-)work periods and minimum consumption of paper for (over-)documentation.
It's the first time it's happened to this extent, and in any case the section from Star City to Lilyfield is already back online. The only downside to this is the poor replacement service after Transdev wrested it back from State Transit.
Oh, I appreciate NSW bureaucratic nonsense well enough, thank you, but I also appreciate the net result, which is nearly a month worth of closures.
I wouldn't consider it exceedingly cynical to ask questions like the following:
- Since we're supposedly "so serious" about safety standards, documentation and compliance in NSW, how about getting the construction and maintenance right so these incidents don't happen in the first place? It's 2013 - we shouldn't be having to learn the fundamentals of building permanent way in a manner that does not damage trains, eventually causing them to fall off it.
- Or are the safety standards more about appearance and creating jobs for the boys to tick and flick (as is known to be the case elsewhere) than a genuine concern for safety?
- What about track inspections? It didn't take long for the offending track to be identified, but shouldn't that have happened before it caused two derailments?
- Was the problem already known before the derailments occurred?
- An intense regulatory framework like what we supposedly have in NSW doesn't count for much if it fails to prevent incidents like this from happening - incidents which under the right circumstances could prove lethal. Presumably, this framework was applied when the defective track was last worked on. Or was it?
I sleep soundly knowing that all of this stuff and more will be thoroughly examined, and that all will be revealed in the utterly transparent report, something for which NSW is (in)famous...
Oh, and that it won't happen again.
If it was treated as an important service it would probably be open again, but I guess it isn't... I won't argue that it is vital to the economy. Maybe that is another big factor - it's just not important enough to get priority.
I also wonder how this is really affecting Transdev's business.
Even if it turns out that the length of the line closure was somehow reasonable, it still looks like there is room for criticism here at some level. The derailments should not have happened, after all. I hope the report is better than some of the trash OTSI has put out in the past.