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Commuters will be concerned about an increase in reports of safety incidents on trains, the New South Wales opposition said today.
More than 1500 reportable safety incidents – classified as derailments, collisions, fires, explosions and people being hit by trains or falling – were recorded on the network in the eight months to August this year.
Fewer than half that number were reported at the same time in 2003, according to the CityRail figures.
So far in 2005, there have been 188 safety incidents a month on average, compared with 133 a month in 2004 and 82 a month in 2003.
Opposition transport spokesman Barry O'Farrell said this rate of about six safety incidents a day would be of deep concern to the 900,000 daily users of the CityRail system.
"The high number of safety problems recorded by CityRail is a key indicator of the level of danger on the rail network," he said.
But a RailCorp spokesman said it was impossible to accurately compare the number of safety incidents on the CityRail network with old figures because of the merger of separate rail bodies into RailCorp in 2004.
The older figures had only been for CityRail, the spokesman said.
Rail staff had also become more willing to report safety incidents, the spokesman said.
"As the safety culture in the place has improved, people are more likely to report safety incidents," he said.
The biggest increases over the past two years have been in the number of collisions, derailments, fires and explosions.
The number of people hit or falling in accidents in the first eight months of 2005 was higher than the total for all of 2003 and only just below the total for 2004.
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