19:02 After a weekend in Western Sydney, I’m at Central, waiting for my train to Wollongong. The rain comes in waves, never drizzle, just sporadic torrents.
19:22 The train is late, overheard staff discussing track issues on the South Coast line. A murmur wafts around the station, someone heard the train was cancelled. There is some speculation it may be on another platform.
19:32 The train has been cancelled. No word how long until the next service. Fuck.
19:56 A train has arrived. It is going south. That’s all we’re told. It fills quickly, weary faces stepping out of the cold night desperate for the comforts of home, hoping for a swift journey.
20:31 Announcements have started about track issues at Coalcliff. There may be delays. The train will stop at Waterfall, and then go all stations to Thirroul. My maths says that should only add half an hour. Maybe 45 minutes with these track issues.
21:50 I’ve been on this train for two hours and it’s barely past Waterfall. It has been sitting at Stanwell Park for at least 20 minutes now, after waiting over half an hour at Otford. We’re told that the delays will continue.
21:53 What gets me is the fact that Transport NSW knew about this issue hours ago. Staff at Central were talking about it as an existing issue at 7pm.
They knew trains weren’t getting through, but, rather than arranging an alternative, they just sent people on their way.
If The Simpsons taught us anything, you can’t fix a stoppage by throwing more bodies at it.
21:58 This is the arrogance of Transport NSW under Gladys Berejiklian. Why should she worry about a 90 minute trip taking five hours? It won’t affect her day, and in the end, most of the people on this train won’t blame those truly at fault.
22:15 We’ve now moved on to Coalcliff. I was supposed to be home an hour ago, but, there’s a high probability it will be another hour, at least. The original train I was supposed to take was cancelled, because it was running so late.
22:17 The worst part of this, all of these stations exist in a mobile blackspot. So, with no reception, there is no alternative to sitting, trapped on this train. There are no buses that run this late in the area. No taxi service in such a remote region. We are prisoners of the NSW Government.
22:22 Someone just pointed out the fact that there is just a single toilet on this particular service. And the train is packed. And the stations are unmanned. God help whoever has to relieve themselves.
22:25 “Attention passengers, so you are aware, there is another service ahead of us, and they haven’t moved in half an hour, so there will be extensive delays.”
Derisive laughter echoes throughout the carriage. An older passenger swears under his breath.
22:38 The mood has yet to turn, but the tension is mounting. Some people are visibly upset.
22:44 “We have been told bus services have been organised, no word on when they may arrive.”
22:48 One of the staff members is on the platform explaining that there may have been a rock slippage due to rain and the track is blocked. AN HOUR AGO THEY WERE SAYING THAT TRAINS WERE GETTING THROUGH.
22:51 The guard has offered her phone to anyone who would like to use it. Curious how hers may work when NO ONE has reception.
22:59 The service ahead of us has gotten through the tunnel, past what we were literally just told was a completely blocked track. So now, just two more services to get through, then we get our shot.
23:03 I don’t remember this ever happening on the Isle of Sodor, even when Henry had himself bricked up inside a disused tunnel, it wasn’t this bad.
I’m just saying, NSW could do with a Fat Controller.
23:10 Tension is palpable. The disgruntled whispers have become a tremulous rumble. Emotions are beginning to fray. Either the train moves or a bus arrives, otherwise, this could well erupt into something far less… polite.
23:12 This is what happens when essential services are not properly funded. NSW is desperate for an infrastructure overhaul, yet the arseclowns and fuckwads on Macquarie Street were just preening themselves over how clever they are for announcing a budget surplus. And when infrastructure funding is announced, it goes to garbage like the stadium splurge. Basic needs are ignored.
When there are signalling issues in the Inner West, it makes headline news for days. But the South Coast line shuts down completely and it will barely generate a paragraph.
23:18 Another service is being shunted onto the back of this one, presumably to reduce the wait for them.
22:24 Shunting complete. The bump was underwhelming. Ladies, I feel your pain.
23:26 Battery saver just kicked in. As goes the phone, so goes my patience.
23:28 There *may* be some progress. Indications are that the train could yet leave the station. We have been here for 75 minutes.
23:32 The train isn’t going anywhere. Though we have just been informed that the platform toilet has been unlocked. Also, what happened to the promised buses?
23:39 An empty train heading in the other direction just passed us. Curious what this omen may yet foretell.
23:41 Doors have closed.
23:42 Aaaand we’re moving again.
23:47 We seem to be travelling normally now. Four hours after leaving Central.
23:53 It’s now going to be all stations to Wollongong, and like, I get it, but, for the sake of all fucks, we just want the cunting train to take us to the goddamned station, you knotted heap of jizzrags.
23:59 It’s worth noting that I started this trip home around 6pm. And I still felt like I was heading home too early.
00:16 Finally at Wollongong. The train was supposed to go to Bomaderry, instead, it terminated. Passengers were told buses are scheduled, but, looking around, there are none in sight.
00:28 Home. Some final thoughts. Fuck Gladys Berejiklian, she was transport minister AND treasurer before becoming Premier. Fuck Mike Baird and Barry O’Farrell, they’re fuckholes. Fuck the NSW Liberal Party because, well, it’s the NSW Liberal Party, we’ve rarely known a bigger bunch of feckless cunts. Fuck the NSW Labor Party, the bigger bunch of feckless cunts.
The rampant corruption and ceaseless misappropriation of funds in NSW has been a cancer on this state for decades, and it all stems from those two parties. They could not give two whole fucks about any voter, unless that voter is a property developer funnelling donations to these parties through various third parties.
Yeah, I’m angry, as anyone who spent SIX HOURS on a train for no real reason would be, but more than that, I’m sick of watching NSW get screwed by politicians only dropping by to get a leg up for some seven-figure salary gig with a multinational they helped score a gig in the state.
It’s bullshit, and I’m done putting up with it.