Sydney rail officials will visit Blue Mountains Grammar School next week to talk about changes to the timetable which have forced the school to amend its class times.
The school’s headmaster, Trevor Barman, said he had talked to CityRail [now Sydney Trains] before the new timetable was announced.
“We tried to see if there was a way that we could get it altered to match the school starting times but it wasn’t possible. But CityRail is going to come up to meet me and some of the staff on the 9th of October,” he said. He didn’t know if they would offer to make any further changes.
Under the new timetable, the 3.35pm east-bound service from Wentworth Falls will be replaced with one at 3.24pm and another at 3.54pm.
After learning of the new times, Mr Barman sent an email to parents telling them that school would start 10 minutes earlier at 8.35am and end 10 minutes earlier at 3.10pm. The changed times will apply from the start of term next Tuesday.
Mr Barman said he made the changes to ensure students weren’t waiting too long at the station to get home.
Blue Mountains MP, Roza Sage, said the later train had been added specifically to cater for the Grammar students and that efforts were being made “to sort the issues out”.
Mrs Sage said the new timetable seemed to have been well received and the main complaint her office had received was about the axing of the 9.02am service from Mt Victoria to the city.
Residents west of Katoomba had hoped for an hourly service to Lithgow and were disappointed with the changes, according to the president of the Blue Mountains Commuters and Transport Users Association, Michael Paag.
But Mrs Sage pointed out that while two services had been removed for residents from Medlow Bath, Blackheath and Mt Victoria (the 9.02am and the 11.06pm from Mt Victoria), five had been added, giving a total of three extra services a day for those commuters.
The extra trains into the city leave Mt Victoria at 6.37am, 10.55am and 2.55pm. Two more services leave Central at 11.37am and 2.37pm heading up the Mountains.
There will be more express trains when the new timetable starts operating on October 20, but these will necessarily not stop at eight smaller towns. But Mrs Sage said 1000 extra services in the Sydney metropolitan area should free up seats on some of the Mountains trains.
“I think overall we did get a good deal out of it. A lot of people had been asking for express services,” Mrs Sage said. “People don’t like change and there will be some adjustments commuters need to make.”
Mrs Sage said she frequently caught the train herself when travelling to the city from Warrimoo. “I do go on the train, I do know the issues,” she said. “I am using public transport so I get it.”