What affects our performance?

We work hard to meet our punctuality goals, however the performance of our trains can be affected by a number of things.

Customer injury / illness

On average, an incident involving an ill customer affects 20 trains or up to 20,000 customers. No one wants to be ill on board a train so we encourage customers not to board the train if feeling unwell. We can get help to you much quicker at the station. If there is a medical emergency where a customer cannot be moved, then the train must remain at the station until medical assistance arrives.

Train problems

Problems like faulty doors can delay trains while the guard makes the affected carriage safe.

If you see a fault, please contact Transport Info on 131 500 so it can be addressed immediately.

Signal, track, overhead wiring and points problems

Problems vary from broken rails to tracks affected by adverse weather conditions. We have an extensive track upgrading program and undertake maintenance of the tracks and other infrastructure on a daily basis. Improvements have been made to the track inspection system and this includes track inspection at a time that does not affect the punctuality of our trains.

Vandalism and anti-social behaviour

Problems like debris thrown onto the tracks can be dangerous and cause extensive damage to carriages. It can also cause disruptions to train services. Sydney Trains has implemented a program of service improvements to counteract vandalism. These include police on stations, trains and other railway property and security cameras and high intensity lighting.

Performance is also affected if people jam train doors or vandalise carriages. This can result in the carriage being closed off, impacting the train's capacity. If police are required to attend and manage illegal and/or anti-social behaviour, our performance may also be affected.

Transport officers work in conjunction with the police on targeted lines specified by Sydney Trains and police intelligence to minimise anti-social behaviour on our trains.

Overcrowding in the centre carriages

Passengers waiting at stations during bad weather tend to wait under the all-weather canopies, which results in overcrowding in the centre carriages. When such overcrowding occurs it can take longer to board passengers, and trains are delayed. To improve the situation, we began a program in 1998 to construct canopies and allow passengers to spread out along the platform whilst keeping dry.

Trespasser fatality

Sometimes people trespass inside the rail network and are fatally injured. In these circumstances police can close the track for up to three hours to investigate the incident.

Station dwell times

Passengers who are slow to board a train or disembark a train can increase the amount of time trains remain at stations and impact punctuality.

Severe weather conditions

During severe storms, fog or extremes in temperature, the speed and operation of trains are limited to ensure safe travel is maintained - in the same way that motorists slow down in rainy weather.