Commuters describe four-hour journeys

services were suspended between Gosford & Fassifern due to lightning strikes damaging signalling equipment

Woy Woy commuters have described on social media travelling up to four-hour journeys between Woy Woy and Central when the rail system failed on Tuesday, January 9.

However, many commented that the train system’s problems were ongoing and far-reaching, not just confined to a couple of incidents on two days in January. Hardy’s Bay resident Mr David Abrahams spent Tuesday, January 9, navigating Sydney trains to get to Woy Woy from North Sydney. “I jumped on the T1 North Shore Line,” Mr Abrahams wrote on the Good Old Woy Woy Facebook page. “The train was stopped at Gordon and we were shuttled onto buses. “It was chaotic. “Bus contractors were brought in to help clear the backlog of people moving north and south. “Many of us were shuffled onto a bus that ended up at St Ives. “The driver apologised and we needed to cross the Mona Vale Rd and return to Gordon and try again. “I squeezed onto another bus. “A convoy of buses crawled slowly to Berowra, where a sea of passengers were deposited and guided down to platforms. “After several trains passed by, the platform announcements were apologetic and admitted to not knowing when the next train would stop. “Eventually a train from the south stopped, though it was so full only a few of us could get on. “We were all crammed in, standing, hot and thankful that we had eventually managed to get a ride home to Woy Woy.” The trip took three and half hours. “Everyone of the passengers and the staff were good natured. “There was a sense that we all were suffering together,” Mr Abrahams said.

Other Woy Woy-based commuters said the issues were not confined to one or two days. “There have been delays just about every day, both ways, for the past seven days, since Tuesday, January 2,” said Mr David Bugden of Woy Woy. “I left work at North Sydney at 4:45pm the other day and arrived home (Woy Woy) at 7:20pm,” he said. “It’s not just Monday and Tuesday’s problems,” said Roslyn Jennings also of Woy Woy. “On Christmas Eve at Woy Woy no one knew, including staff, what was happening after a broken rail north of Woy Woy,” she said.

Central Coast councillor Jeff Sundstrom said: “I am not sure if outside of actual commuters it is widely known that trips between the Coast and Newcastle were also heavily affected. “My son commutes to and from Kotara and his train trips were also delayed,” Cr Sundstrom said. “He was late to work before Christmas too so we don’t need extreme weather or staff shortages to upset the State Rail applecart,” he said. Other commuters commented that trains had been cut from eight to four carriages, including during major commuter times. “I love the way the State Government chose to split eight carriage trains into two four-carriage trains so it can say it doubled the number of trains without adding a single seat,” he said. “How about everyone who uses the service from four in the morning when the train has four carriages and is already overflowing at Woy Woy?”

Ms Ness Cairns of Woy Woy said. “I agree there are more four carriage trains on the Central Coast line,” Ms Jennings said. Mr Stephen Doherty, also of Woy Woy, said the corridor has been poorly serviced for decades. “What real work has been done to our corridor for decades?” he said. “It is slower now than in the late 1980s and early 90s. “Maybe I am just cynical but I feel they are trashing the network to later justify the privatisation of yet another state-owned asset. “It is not beyond the scope of how they operate,” he said.

SOURCE: Website, 10 Jan 2018 Good Old Woy Woy, Facebook