Sydney Trains Diversity Celebrations

March was a busy month for Diversity and Inclusion at Sydney Trains!

International Women’s Day
We have already shared the livestream recording of the International Women’s Day event as well as the #ChooseToChallenge staff video that screened at the start of the event. Now you can also enjoy a highlights video that includes some glimpses behind the scenes. As we were not able to get through all the questions on the day, we have prepared follow-up Q&As.

Harmony Week
You would have seen our Clyde Hub Harmony Day image gallery and Harmony Week retrospective video and you can now view video highlights from Harmony Week celebrations at Clyde Hub.

Sydney Trains is committed to supporting, nurturing and celebrating everyone’s uniqueness and contribution. You can watch this video to find out more about what diversity and inclusion is and how you can play your part in the workplace to support a diverse and inclusive culture.

Update your diversity profile
If you have not already done so please complete your diversity profile in Equip – by doing so, you will help us develop the right programs, resources and support to meet your needs. The information you provide in your diversity profile is confidential – you can refer to our diversity profile FAQs to find out more.

Public Transport Capacity Increases

Today we announced that from next Monday, in line with NSW Health advice, more people will be able to climb aboard public transport when capacity increases across all our services to help support the State’s COVID-19 recovery.

From Monday capacity will be increased to about 75 per cent on services and TrainLink services will return to 100 per cent capacity. This means people can sit next to one another on trips and represents the next stage of the Transport Plan.

The announcement comes as the health situation in NSW has stabilised with rare community transmission and advice on capacity from NSW Health has been updated. The change is also in line with the easing of restrictions more generally across NSW helping keep life as normal as possible and supporting businesses and maintaining economic activity.

We have an important role to play in assisting to keep communities COVID safe while helping people move safely to jobs, recreational activities and public spaces across NSW.

For more information go to the Stay informed website here.

Station platforms will be looking a lot busier from Monday.

New flu vax booking process

The Sydney Trains flu vaccine roll out has been off to a strong start with dozens of staff already registering for their free flu shot.

Our online booking provider, Vitality Works, has recently made changes to their booking process which means Sydney Trains employees are no longer required to create an account but will instead be taken straight to the booking page.

Once registered for a flu vaccine, you will receive an email confirming your preferred date and time.

You will also be able to download the PDF of your vaccination certificate from your email. These will be added to your Medicare account on MyGov as part of new legislation which requires flu vaccines to be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register.

To make a booking, head to the booking portal and choose your preferred date and time from one of our 40 locations across the network, which can be found on the timetable.

Employees also have the option to redeem a vaccine voucher at a participating chemist by downloading the voucher from the booking portal.

When you arrive at your appointment remember to stay COVIDSafe:

  • Stay home if you are unwell
  • Check in with the QR code
  • Use the hand sanitizer provided
  • Keep a physical distance
  • Wear a mask if this is not possible

The annual flu shot is your strongest line of defence against the influenza virus, so make your booking now!

For more information about this year’s flu vaccinations, please visit our intranet.

#safetyatourcore #SEQR

Arts hub opening: ‘Platform’

Blayney’s new arts hub, ‘Platform’, opened on Friday 9 April, bringing the community back to the NSW TrainLink station’s historic, former Refreshment Room buildings.

Aerial view of Blayney Station

Sydney Trains Residual Assets Program has partnered with Blayney Shire Council, Orange 360, Arts Out West and local community groups to reimagine, restore and reactivate four station buildings as a vibrant community facility.

Disused since the 1960s, the building’s peeling paint, damp walls, damaged floors and timber detailing, faded exteriors and a multitude of restoration complexities have been carefully transformed in a two year project.

A ‘whole of place’ approach has delivered a community facility which boosts the regional economy and tourism, brings significant heritage buildings back to life and enables a much needed uplift in station presentation and customer amenities.

The Residual Asset works and a concurrent TfNSW TAP access upgrade were delivered by Sydney Trains Customer Environment, Delivery Infrastructure – with support from business partners and the local NSW TrainLink staff.

Council has entered into a Licence with Sydney Trains Real Estate for Council to operate the 264 square metre space as a multi-user hub for arts and cultural exhibitions, community gatherings and workshops, tourism and education experiences.

Blayney’s signature art exhibition ‘Textures of One’ runs until April 30 at ‘Platform’ (open 1000 to 1600 Thursday to Sunday). Ongoing events and activities are planned.

An on-site Visitor Experience telling the story of Blayney’s historic station will be launched by Sydney Trains later this year.

#TfNSW #NSWTrainlink

The Blayney Refreshment room before & after.

Rail R U OK?Day 2021

Rail R U OK?Day is coming up on Thursday 29 April and we want everyone to get involved.

It is the rail industry day of action that reminds us that every person and every conversation counts. The theme is ‘Follow that train of thought. There’s more to say after R U OK?’

This year we are inviting you to submit a short video clip talking about the importance of Rail R U OK?Day and what it means to you.

Follow these steps to film and submit your video:

  1. Film on your smart phone
  2. Hold your phone landscape (sideways) about 1 metre away from you. You can film it as a selfie or have someone film it for you
  3. Look directly at the camera. It’s best when your camera is at eye level
  4. Film it where you’re currently working (on site, on a station platform, at a depot, your home office, the backyard or your kitchen bench)
  5. Speak about why Rail R U OK?Day is important and what it means to you
  6. You can do the filming as an individual or with your colleague or as a team
  7. Try to keep your video to 1 minute max
  8. To submit your video by Wednesday 21 April:
    a. Head to the Rail R U OK?Day 2021 Team in Microsoft Teams
    b. Under this Team is a channel called SUBMIT YOUR VIDEOS HERE where you can upload.
    c. Alternatively, you can submit your video by uploading it to the OneDrive folder
  9. If you have any technical questions or issues, contact or send your video via email attachment to (file size limits apply)
  10. Once we have the videos we’ll edit them into a package which will be part of our Rail R U OK?Day activities. We’ll do our best to include all viable submissions.

Hints and tips

  • If you’re working on site or wear a uniform in your role, we encourage you to wear it
  • If you’re not in uniform, we recommend not wearing contrasting bright block colours, whites and blacks: such extremes of pure white and black make it difficult for the camera to balance exposure
  • We recommend not wearing any busy or complex patterns or stripes: the camera will make it look like there are lines moving all around your outfit
  • Minimise background noise so we can hear you clearly and so that we can include the footage. Make sure you’re well-lit in the video and that it’s not shadowy. Also check your background to ensure that you’re comfortable with what’s showing
  • The video will be made available via internal channels and may be shared on external social media.

#safetyatourcore #SEQR

Introduction of Virtual Signal Sighting

Deciding where to place new railway signals as part of any railway construction can be a difficult job. Each signal must be placed in exactly the right spot to give optimum signal sighting to a train driver, whilst still being easily accessed for maintenance work – all before the track has even been built.

Recently the TfNSW MTMS2 Waterfall Stabling Project team, together with the Transport for Tomorrow (T4T) team, approached this problem in a new way and held an office-based virtual signal sighting workshop using a digital 3D model of the worksite at Waterfall Station currently under construction.

Traditionally, signal placement has been managed by a signalling committee who meet onsite and spend hours physically walking the track and assessing each signal, but new technology is now making this laborious task a little easier and whole lot faster.

“It’s a bit like doing a virtual tour, it’s very realistic. You get a broad picture of the future site and because it’s all on a screen in one room, it can involve a lot more people at once in a really simple way, plus it’s a lot faster. And whilst there will still be final on-site checks, I think everyone is pleased to have one less day of walking around the hot sun or pouring rain!” said Stephen Petrou, Standards Competency Officer, Train Crewing.

“Using a 3D virtual environment to look ahead at the design stage before track is laid means its less likely we will need to go back and start moving signals once other infrastructure is in place, which saves time and money.” Said Leon Johnson, Waterfall Package Lead, Transport for Tomorrow.

“The success of the workshop was due to a dedicated design and commissioning team, great TfNSW technical management and an excellent experienced Train Crew team from Sydney Trains & NSW Trains willing to embrace new technologies.” Said John Theo, MTMS2 Technical Manager, TfNSW.

Well done to everyone involved, this is a great example of how we all strive for operational excellence at TfNSW and Sydney Trains.

A view of the virtual reality environment.

New sessions for Microsoft 365

The Working Towards campaign continues to provide tips and tools to help you maximise your productivity and level-up your M365 collaboration skills!

Today, we’re focusing on team communication and setting some ground rules for how you work in Working Towards… Better Communications For Your Team and Collaboration House Rules. Also, don’t forget to register below for our webinars for a deeper dive on these topics.

Collaboration House Rules
Collaboration House Rules are a set of rules on how to work in Microsoft 365 that you agree on together with your team. These rules are not set in stone and we suggest you read more about establishing a collaboration strategy to guide your house rules.

To learn more about Collaboration House Rules join our webinar at 2pm, Tuesday 13 April. We will run through with how to establish guidelines for how your team or department works together, which is key to ensuring consistent processes and to make adoption of new tools easier.

We are also holding a webinar to help Working Towards… Better Communications for Your Team at 11am, Tuesday 13 April. In this session, we’ll guide you through using Teams chat and posts, Outlook emails, Yammer posts and other forms of communication in Microsoft 365 so you can be assured your message is reaching the right people, at the right time, in the right way.

We have a lot more tools, tips and webinars coming up to help maximise your collaboration effectiveness. You can register now for our upcoming webinars:

  • Working Towards… Effective Task Management
    11am, Thursday 22 April
    Whether you’re wanting to organise your personal day-to-day tasks, your team’s tasks, actions resulting from a meeting or an entire project’s deliverables, Microsoft 365 have a tool for you. Join us as we show you what tools you can use, like Planner and Teams, to make your task management more effective.
  • Working Towards… OneNote isn’t just agendas
    2pm, Thursday 22 April
    Establishing guidelines for how your team or department works together is key to ensuring consistent processes and to make adoption of new tools easier. Come along to this webinar to learn more.
  • Working Towards… Go with the flow with PowerAutomate
    Beginner – 2pm, Friday 23 April
    Advanced – 2pm, Wednesday 28 April
    Join Julianna Bodzan from the For Crying Out Cloud! Challenge and learn how you can use PowerAutomate to automate your administrative tasks and so much more.
  • Get More Work Done with Tasks in Teams
    2pm, Thursday 29 April
    This live event with Microsoft shows you how you can use the new Tasks app in Teams to be more productive.

I want to know more!
If you’d like to know more about the Working Towards… campaign, pop a post into the General channel of the M365 Working Towards team. We would love to hear from you!

You can also check out resources on 365 Learn or join the Office 365 Gurus Yammer community to talk to others across the Cluster about all things Microsoft.

#operationalexcellence #tfnsw

Streamlining resource requests

A new module that increases visibility of resource requests from TfNSW in a more streamlined, efficient process went live on 12 April.

The Resource and Isolations Management System (RIMS) module is built within the existing Sydney Trains in-house Possession Access Coordination Tool (PACT) system. PACT was introduced in early 2014 to improve possession planning and management and has been continually developed since then to further improve the way we work with our stakeholders.

Transport’s Infrastructure & Place division frequently requests resources from Engineering & Maintenance electrical teams for project support including carrying out electrical isolations and providing authorised personnel for works on Sydney Trains’ electrical infrastructure. Until now, these requests were made via manual forms and emails which made it difficult for Sydney Trains to oversee and coordinate the requests on one platform.

Asset Management Master Program Manager Mary Nguyen said: “This joint achievement has enabled us to introduce a new system to coordinate resources more efficiently through automation, built-in workflows to enable increased visibility.”

The RIMS module, which was developed by E&M in collaboration with TfNSW, is expected to be rolled out to other groups within the Transport cluster in the future.

Asset Management’s Paul Donoghue and Mary Nguyen who worked on the development of the RIMS module

#operationalexcellence #engineering

March Pulse Check outcomes

Thank you to everyone who took part in the March Pulse Check survey to see how our people were feeling and how leaders could better support their teams during a time of change and uncertainty.

A total of 6,149 people across Transport responded to the March survey, representing 22 per cent of the Transport workforce. Sydney Trains achieved a 9 per cent response rate.

People who responded to the survey were not feeling as positive about their experience at Sydney Trains as they were when we last checked in:

  • 54 per cent of people had a ‘satisfactory’ sense of wellbeing, which is lower than the Sydney Trains People Matter Employee Survey (PMES) results in November 2020 (74 per cent);
  • Fewer people felt clear on what was expected of them in their role (81 per cent) than in November 2020 (88 per cent);
  • Almost three quarters of our people felt satisfied with how we’re keeping them safe; and
  • Less than half of our people felt confident in our leaders making the right decisions for the organisation.

Many people referenced Evolving Transport, the Corporate Functions Review, or other change programs in their responses. We acknowledge that this is a difficult time for everyone and that we need to continue supporting you through these changes.

Please reach out to your leader if you need support. You can also visit the Staywell Hub.

Remember to check in with your colleagues to see how they’re doing – it could make a world of difference.

A key focus of the survey is taking action on the results so that we can continue to work effectively, maintain balance and stay well. Here are some hints and tips that might help you in your day-to-day work.

Actions for everyone
  • Continue to support each other, focus on safety and check in with other team members
  • Keep each other COVID-safe by practising the ‘four lines of defence’ and staying up to date with any confirmed COVID-19 case locations
  • For teams who have been working remotely for an extended period, think about when it makes sense to spend time together in the office or onsite
Actions for Leaders
  • Regularly check in with your people – have conversations with your team to understand what will help them to feel happier, healthier and safer at work
  • Continue to try different ways of working – what’s worked well? What can be improved?
  • If your team has been working remotely, have a conversations to discuss when it makes sense to spend time together in the office or onsite

Step challenge results are in!

Well done to all those who participated in the Virgin Pulse ‘Food around the Globe’ Virtual Step Challenge!

Sydney Trains teams took a staggering 84,956,704 steps during our month long challenge in March. That is the equivalent to 68,362km or like walking around the Earth!

The step challenge took our teams from France to Brazil, virtually trekking the globe to discover new places and their cuisines while trying to outstep rival teams to take out top spot on the leader board.

Congratulations to our top team, ‘Down…under’ who finished in first place with over 4 million steps:

  1. Down…under – 4,143,873 steps
    Neeraj Upadhyay, Debra Briggs, Vinay Patel, Ali Farhat, Louie Loulash
  2. Number Crunchers – 3,859,395 steps
    Amy Cheung, Nirmal Shrestha, Hugh Macrae, Andrew Samild, Lynn Herisson
  3. The Frying Dutchman – 2,520,125 steps
    Dimas Muente, Emma Bullen, Col Chapman, Allison O’Bryan, Dharanendran Parthy

We had a great effort overall with the average participant taking 285,089 steps so well done to all of our challenge steppers!

There are plenty of upcoming initiatives on the Virgin Pulse Health App to keep you active and healthy. For the latest updates and news make sure to join the Virgin Pulse Health App Group on Workplace.

Want to get involved?
Download the Virgin Pulse Health App to get involved with monthly healthy habit challenges, heart age assessments, team and personal challenges and a whole range of free health programs including nutrition, yoga, sleep and stress management. Improve your health and earn points along the way to enter our quarterly prize draws!

Head to the intranet for details on how to download the app so you can enjoy all the benefits. You can also visit the Virgin Pulse website to sign up (you must use your email address to create an account).

#safetyatourcore #SEQR