As part of its Rail Repair Plan, Sydney Trains has repaired more than 1,916 high-priority defects as well as more than 29,000 defects since the works were launched, putting the program ahead of its initial schedule. 

The $97 million program kicked off in June 2023 to improve reliability and resilience of the transport network. From September 2023 to March 2024 the seven-month average for peak on-time-running is the best it’s been since 2021.

When the Rail Repair Plan was launched, the target was to remove 75 per cent of high-priority defects (1,916) to get the maintenance backlog under control to “acceptable levels” within 12 months.

Due to the rapid progress of the Rail Repair Plan, Sydney Trains has committed to a revised target to remove 2,116 high-priority defects before the end of June.

Regular trackwork is critical for the safety, reliability, and efficiency for the millions of people across NSW who use the rail network to get around.

Trackwork, maintenance, and reliability upgrades are crucial across the ageing network, with some parts more than 100 years old.

Trackwork will continue after the Rail Repair Plan is complete, over weekends and during school holidays when patronage is reduced.

Torrential rain in early April led to significant disruption on the South Coast line, with damage occurring at Coalcliff and between Kiama and Bomaderry.

250 Sydney Trains crew worked continuously over a 90 hour period to repair 200km of track and restore services north of Kiama.

Services are running between Wollongong and Waterfall at a reduced timetable due to a significant landslip at Bald Hill. Workers will return to the line on the weekend of April 13–14 as work continues to enable the restoration of a full timetable.

Work between Kiama and Bomaderry is still underway, with truckloads of ballast being delivered to Berry station to restabilise rail lines.

New South Wales Premier, Chris Minns, said that this critical work to repair the train network will make it safer and more resilient for millions of people who catch a train in Sydney with peak on-time-running the best it’s been since 2021.

“I’m very pleased at the progress this government has made in getting our trains back on track,” Mr Minns said. 

“To the staff that have been working around the clock to repair our train network and minimise disruptions for commuters, thank you.”

New South Wales Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen, said that she is very proud of everyone at Sydney Trains who has jumped on board the Rail Repair Plan and exceeded all expectations with the results. 

“While we have made exceptional progress, there is still much work to be done and I will not stop until we have the most reliable and resilient network possible for the passengers of New South Wales,” Ms Haylen said. 

“When I first launched the Rail Repair Plan in June last year, it was evident we had a lot of work to do, and getting on top of the maintenance backlog was the first step.

“I’d like to thank our passengers for their patience and understanding, and our hardworking staff for striving to deliver a rail network the people of New South Wales deserve.”

Sydney Trains Chief Executive, Matt Longland, said that Sydney Trains is now on top of the maintenance backlog on the rail network, which will provide more reliable trips for passengers and less incidents with infrastructure.

“I’m so proud of our teams who have worked really hard to exceed all targets months ahead of schedule,” Mr Longland said. 

“Our trackwork teams will still be out there working hard each weekend to keep on top of the maintenance task and maintain reliability, but we won’t see as many impacts for customers when buses replace trains during trackwork. And that’s a good outcome for everyone.”

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