Delays to Sydney's trains are likely to be "cumulative and irrecoverable" during peak hours following incidents, as the biggest overhaul of the rail timetable in years places greater strain on Sydney's rail network, an internal document reveals.
Sydney Trains warns in the leaked document that operating the network at "track capacity" for longer periods leaves "no opportunity for diversions or recovery from incidents". Delays early in the peak periods will also have a "larger impact on later peak services".
The 52-page document, obtained by Labor, was prepared before the timetable overhaul a week ago, which resulted in an extra 771 weekday services and another 800 services at weekends.
While tens of thousands of commuters stand to benefit from more frequent services, it highlights the growing pressure on an already stretched rail network and its limited ability to recover from delays caused by major incidents such as breakdowns.
Labor's transport spokeswoman, Jodi McKay, said it was clear from the document that the knock-on effect of the timetable changes was that it "won't take much to send the network into a meltdown".
"Once again the travelling public is only hearing what [Transport] Minister Andrew Constance wants us to hear about his new timetable," she said.