Sydney commuters have suffered extended delays on peak-hour trains on Thursday evening after a signal failure at Central Station.
Angry passengers complained of being delayed by up to an hour, while platforms at busy Town Hall Station were said to have been barricaded shut to stop overcrowding.
Seven News reported Wynyard Station was also “shut down”.
Sydney Trains began alerting commuters about 4pm that “urgent signal equipment repairs at Central” had caused delays on the T1, T2, T3, T8 and the south line.
Commuters reported being stuck on trains that were banked up in tunnels on the City Circle line.
“Not a single train is moving around the City Circle,” passenger Shane Miles tweeted. The service he was on was then cancelled.
Ummm Sydney central station just broke down and they’ve locked down town hall platforms.
— Keithy McKeithface🌈 (@Solabis) May 31, 2018
— Sarah Jackson (@sahjacko) May 31, 2018
Commuters were reportedly told at the time: “All trains are stationary.”
Trains began moving again shortly after, but backed-up trains led to further delays and service cancellations into the evening.
“Allow extra travel time due to urgent signal equipment repairs at Central earlier,” Sydney Trains said on Twitter at 4.13pm.
“Trains are moving again now, and our operations team are working hard to get trains back on time ASAP.”
A commuter complained her train on the T3 line from Redfern to Hurlstone Park was delayed by 22 minutes.
“Could you watch my kids, start dinner and send a limo please,” @tianichillemi asked Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Twitter.
“My 1 hour commute home became 2 hours,” @ShelbyAnnMaree wrote.
— Bella Nguyen (@bellanguyen01) May 31, 2018
Another passenger merely described Sydney Trains as being “incompetent”.
In a statement to The New Daily, a Sydney Trains spokesperson claimed services were being regularly provided about 5.15pm.
Commuters were still complaining of extended delays and cancellations, but complaints appeared to slow down after 7pm.
“A fault with the Sydney Trains signalling system near Central Station caused some delays to services earlier this afternoon,” the spokesperson said.
“We apologise to customers for any inconvenience and advise they check mobile travel apps, listen to announcements and check indicator boards for the latest updates.”
In February, a review into the January 8 and 9 meltdowns found the network was vulnerable to disruptions.
The joint Sydney Trains and Transport for NSW review said extra reserve crew were needed to cope with disruptions, and more train crew needed to be hired.
The “tangled” network also compounded failures and disruptions, with its multiple branches, crossovers and junctions.
“This means that when incidents and delays occur they have the potential and a tendency to cascade across multiple lines,” the report said.
Relieved I got on the 4.33 before the wave of cancellations. The stations between Bankstown and Liverpool are constantly treated like rubbish by Sydney Trains. pic.twitter.com/Kt0yT14r3D
— Andrea K Host (@dragonflyautumn) May 31, 2018