Managing Disruptions to Cityrail Passenger Services


About one in every twelve Sydney people travels by train each weekday.

Unplanned disruptions to services are inevitable, even on the best-run railways.

Because of the complexities of Sydney’s rail network, a single event can disrupt many services.

From a passenger’s perspective, three issues are important –

  • how quickly the disruption is fixed (“When will my train arrive?”)
  • the accuracy of information provided about the disruption (“Should I change my travel/meeting/other arrangements?”)
  • how often the disruptions occur (“Should I give up on rail travel?”).

In this audit, we looked at how well RailCorp responds when there are routine disruptions to its CityRail passenger services. We focused on how RailCorp manages passenger journeys and informs passengers.

This report informs Parliament and the community about the limitations of the current system, and what more needs to be done in order to minimise the impact of disruptions on passengers.

It should also help passengers judge the extent to which they can rely on the information they receive, and to better understand some of the obstacles faced by staff.


Parliamentary reference - Report number #139 - released 22 June 2005