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 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

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

One-stop shop for lost property

Customers now have a one-stop shop to recover items lost on public transport, with a new digital system to help reunite owners with items they thought were gone forever.

Around 200 items per day are left on our train network and a similar amount for buses. In a typical year that adds up to around 200,000 items left on the public transport network! The process of retrieving a lost item has varied for each mode of transport with no single avenue for customers to follow up on their enquiry about a misplaced item of material or emotional value.

Only around 45 per cent of enquiries for lost property is resolved and we know recovering an item is a pain point for our customers. Once the item is gone, they think there is a slim chance of getting it back.

However, with the introduction of the new Lost Property solution system, the process has been streamlined for the customer – they don’t even need to know exactly where they may have left the item. The system is more connected so if customers have travelled across multiple modes of transport, the one enquiry will cover their journey end-to-end.

Customers will be able to lodge a lost property enquiry online 24/7 and receive email notifications advising of the status until the item is found or for up to one month if the item is not found. They can also upload images when lodging their enquiry and make edits or remove their request after it has been submitted.

The new system is now live and applies to all public transport across the Greater Sydney area and for all NSW TrainLink services. Customers can submit an enquiry via the Lost Property webform on, Transport BOT and the Opal Travel app.

#customeratthecentre #tfnsw

Health & Safety heroes

One of the perks of working for Sydney Trains is the opportunity to build on your skills and try new roles that you may not have otherwise considered. Becoming a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) is one of those positions where you can continuously learn new skills.

This week’s HSR Hero Joy Buthapaty is a prime example of an HSR who wears many hats. When he is not working as an SDM at Museum Station, he can be seen leading the HSR City team as acting Chairperson, working on his computer skills by using PowerPoint, and refining his public speaking ability by presenting to his teams. The possibilities are endless in the world of HSRs!

How long have you worked for Sydney Trains?
Sixteen years.

Why did you become an HSR?
Gives me great satisfaction in learning, educating, sharing and highlighting safety related topics.

Have you had any notable safety experiences since starting the position as HSR?
Was able to guide and steer the HSR team of City in the capacity of acting Chairperson.

Was able to attend few Tier 3 and Tier 2 and some LIRF meetings to enhance my understanding of safety issues and contribute to the safety of the organisation.

Designed, developed, created and delivered presentations in various meetings of HSR to share knowledge on Safety vs Heritage and electric shock protocol.

Gave a presentation on Japan Rail Management and related safety features during station staff team meetings.

#safetyatourcore #seqr

Our technology roadmap is here

The Future Transport Technology Roadmap 2021-24 was launched via a livestream last week. The roadmap is our blueprint for how we’ll use innovative technologies to transform transport for our customers.

We’ve made huge steps already, like introducing contactless payments and COVID safe travel notifications, launching our world-first autonomous vehicle shuttle services, and using drones to assist with congestion and incident management on our networks. You can learn more about these and other significant achievements, by watching this video.

Partnering with global leaders
During the launch on March 30, we heard from our Transport Ministers about our six priority programs to transform our customers’ transport experience, and how we’ll partner with global leaders to use innovation and technologies to place us at the forefront.

World-first trials
As a sampler of what’s to come, our customers in Coffs Harbour will be the first in the world to experience an automated shuttle bus passenger service without a driver or supervisor in a public area, with the expansion of our BusBot trial. Customers will also soon be able to use their Opal digital card to pay for travel across a wider range of transport options, including Uber, fixed fare Ingogo taxi trips, Lime bikes and the NRMA’s My Fast Ferry.

Learn more over the coming months, as we share more about what’s happening in the space of innovation and technology, and ways you can get involved.

#customeratthecentre #tfnsw

Inspiring place with art

Aboriginal woman Keisha Webb from Gumbaynggirr Country (Coffs Harbour/Grafton NSW) has always wanted to fuse her passion for project management with her love of Aboriginal art.

An innovative project to showcase contemporary Aboriginal art on select hoardings around retail spaces across the rail network has given Keisha an opportunity to merge her two passions.

In line with Future Transport Strategy 2065, Sydney Trains is committed to creating successful places for the people of NSW . This includes helping people move around but also supporting a connection to where people live and work, such as the commissioning of Kamilaroi artist Reko Rennie’s ALWAYS artwork inside the rail corridor at Redfern.

“I get a thrill from project management because I like seeing all the pieces of a project come together and I enjoy seeing the amazing artwork some of my Aboriginal brothers and sisters are creating.”

Keisha Webb, Property Officer, Property & Commercial Services team

The Property & Commercial Services team is taking advantage of traditionally unused hoardings or vacant shop fronts when retail businesses transition to new tenants or while incumbent tenants refit their stores.

“When retail spaces on our network come up for lease, or while our tenants are refitting their stores, we usually place small signs in shop front windows or on the simple hoardings erected for protection. With so many customers walking by every day, we came up with the creative idea of using the space on the hoardings to display artwork from local Aboriginal artists.”

Kate Strickland, Manager Real Estate Portfolio

“With over 1000 tenancies throughout the network, there are multiple opportunities to bring local Aboriginal art to our customers,” said Kate.

The team are collaborating with others across Sydney Trains, including the Aboriginal Employment Unit, Development and Infrastructure as well as the Transport Asset Holding Entity of NSW (TAHE) and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) to bring the idea to life.

There are a number of benefits to this idea – customers get to enjoy and learn about Aboriginal art that is local to each area as they travel, local Aboriginal artists get the opportunity to expose their artwork to thousands of customers each day and of course, our stations are beautified by the presence of local, contemporary art.

The Property & Commercial Services team are looking at transforming some traditional hoardings into display areas for artwork from local Aboriginal artists.

The project is at its early stages, but Keisha has already worked out how to create decals of artwork for display on the corflute hoardings. Taking advantage of the project to build on her project management and leadership skills, Keisha is currently seeking out Aboriginal artists to feature, working out how they can be paid for their art and matching them with upcoming opportunities to show their work.

“This project is a dream come true for me. I am excited to see the artworks come to life across our network and giving them exposure to all of our customers,” said Keisha.

A number of locations have been flagged to showcase the new hoardings, including throughout Central Station.
The Property & Commercial Services team work on leasing, fitting out and uplifting retail spaces across the network so customers can access a range of goods and services as they travel on our services.

Keep an eye out for the artworks down the track!

Opal vandals caught

The Security Operations team recently worked closely with NSW Police to identify and charge two offenders who forcibly opened Opal card machines on the Northern and North Shore lines.

CCTV footage of culprit attempting to open an Opal Card machine with a plasma cutter.

The offenders’ first unsuccessful attempt to damage and open an Opal card machine at Thornleigh station using a plasma cutter was captured on our CCTV cameras.

Security Investigative Analyst Scott Haywood said: “Unfortunately, we sometimes see cases like this where people try to break into Opal card machines to steal money or other times they will damage Opal card readers for no apparent reason.”

“The damage caused by this first attempt amounted to $250, but we began collating CCTV footage straight away – including images of the offenders – as we knew NSW Police would need this to track down and charge the culprits.”

Unfortunately, the team of two were at it again and tried to open an Opal card machine at Berowra station using the same method. It was clear that the crime was pre-meditated, as they knew exactly where to find a nearby electrical outlet to plug the plasma cutter into.

The second attempt was again unsuccessful, but the Opal card machine valued at $80,000 was destroyed. Scott, once again, meticulously collated clear and informative CCTV footage of the crime and provided all evidence to the NSW Police.

Manager Security Operations Nathan Hayward said: “Besides costing $80K to replace, the destruction of Opal card machines can really inconvenience customers. Replacing the machine takes time as a new one would need to be shipped from France.”

“In the meantime, customers intending to top up their cards may need to find an alternative way to add funds to their card, adding to their overall travel time,” said Nathan.

When an offender was taken in by NSW Police for an unrelated crime, police used the evidence supplied by the Security Operations team to also identify them as the person who was driving the vehicle involved in the above offences.

Scott also worked closely with police so they could eventually track down their partner in crime, who was the main culprit.

The main culprit was convicted and sentenced for both offences taking place at Thornleigh and Berowra. They will face 2 years and 9 months in jail and is ordered to pay over $80,000 in compensation. The driver has been taken into police custody and is due to appear in court in coming months.

“This is a great result, and it sends a clear message that destroying property on our network has severe consequences,” said Nathan.

#operationalexcellence #customerops