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The start of this month marked the official split of RailCorp into Sydney Trains and NSW Trains. Sydney Trains will be led by a new chief executive. Howard Collins has until recently been at the helm of the London Underground and has led similar changes on London’s Metropolitan Line. Behind the scenes, the creation of the two new agencies has been a wrenching overhaul for RailCorp’s formerly 15,000-strong workforce.
We have asked industry professionals in our LinkedIn group Rail Network Australasia to share their thoughts and expectations for the organisational restructure. Here are some of their responses:
“As an ex-RailCorp employee I am aware of some of the internal problems. However, some people are surprised to hear that there were some great people there doing good work, within the limitations they were provided. Some of those limitations will carry over to the new organisations, as they still have to run trains as safely as possible, using the same infrastructure and similar budgets as before. Some staff have to be retained to avoid loss of knowledge and mistakes will be made as people get used to the new operating environment (hopefully these mistakes will be minor and not affect safety).
In the long run I think it will be good for Sydney; however there will be a settling in period. This is a more considerable shake up than some of the previous days of RIC, RAC, Argus etc. It will be up to the new management to drive a new culture. Hence it will depend on the character of the new staff they employ.”
Senior Communications Systems Engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff
“I believe it is a move in the right direction. It’s an opportunity to stir up things and provide room for change and innovation.”
Recruitment Consultant – Civil Construction Rail – Construction & Engineering at Fusion People
“I was at RailCorp for near enough to twenty years and rarely saw an ‘unproductive work culture’. I’ll tell you what I did see, people working anything up to 20 hours on a shift to ensure the new infrastructure put in over a weekend session was ready for Monday mornings peak hour trains. Managers putting in 12 hour days every day. Station attendants going above and beyond their job description. 1 million people a day getting to their destinations doesn’t happen when you have an ‘entrenched unproductive work culture’.”
Safety Coordinator, Abigroup Contractors
“More of the same at twice the cost, frankly. It may be an attempt to break an entrenched unproductive work culture, but RailCorp had more iterations than even the RTA / RMS without any result.”
Editor, The Intermedia Group
“I hope there is more of a focus on customer satisfaction and quality of service. That seems to be their aim as well with restructuring of management to focus on operations and human resources. on the engineering I hope there is more passion and forward thinking to ensure funds are invested wisely in long term payoff. The engineering debacle s of the millennium trains and opal card should never be allowed to happen again.”