Sydney train strike averted for now
Sydney train commuters are being warned to expect more disruptions over the Australia Day long weekend despite industrial action by rail workers being postponed.
The Fair Work Commission on Thursday ordered rail workers to suspend for six weeks their planned 24-hour strike on Monday and an indefinite ban on overtime work.
Following a busy start to the day, where Sydneysiders were packed into limited train services, congestion began to ease on the network through the afternoon.
While Bondi Junction was closed due to overcrowding for a short period in the morning, a Sydney Trains spokesman said the network coped relatively well considering the services were cut from 2900 to 1600.
"It was very, very busy, absolutely it was packed, but we got people in," the Sydney Trains spokesman told AAP.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian described the Fair Work Commission's decision to postpone the industrial action as "a huge relief".
However, Transport NSW have warned commuters to expect delays throughout the weekend due to the fallout from the industrial action.
"Be prepared for ongoing disruption as the train network returns back to normal operations over coming days," Transport NSW said in a statement.
Ms Berejiklian said it vindicated the government's decision to launch legal proceedings over the industrial action.
"Now we have certainty, business as usual," Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
Ms Berejiklian said she was confident she could strike a deal with the unions over the next six weeks.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said despite the chaos, Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins' job was safe.
Mr Constance played down the personal tension between himself and NSW Rail, Tram and Bus secretary Alex Claassens.
"This is not about personalities, this is about the people ... and, yes, there was some argy-bargy," he said.
"I will continue to work with Alex."
Earlier in the day, commuters complained of tightly packed carriages and long waits for trains.
"Very slow and very jam-packed all like sardines," commuter Chris Neo, who travelled from Pendle Hill to Town Hall, told AAP.
"I caught the train at Punchbowl. It wasn't too bad getting on, it was pretty full. Lucky to get a seat for the trip. Since the timetable change from 26 November that's how it's been nearly every trip, " Hannah Massoud told AAP at Town Hall station.
"Elbow-to-elbow in sweating business shirts and gym bags this humid January morning commute. Avoid train transport at all cost, mines no longer got any capacity for anymore customers," Chloe Grabham wrote on Twitter.
Talks will now resume after the Rail, Tram and Bus Union this week rejected a 2.75 per cent pay rise for rail workers, a $1000 one-off payment and free bus travel as not good enough.
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