NSW rail workers launch community campaign to save the XPT Sleeper Carriages

Rail workers are spearheading a new community campaign to save the sleeper carriages on train services between Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane and Casino.


The Rail, Tram and Bus Union today launched an online petition calling on the State Government to retain sleeper carriages on the regional rail network.

Sleeper compartments are currently on rail services from Sydney to Brisbane, Sydney to Melbourne, Melbourne to Sydney and from Casino to Sydney. Each compartment contains two single beds and has access to a shared bathroom and shower.

In 2019 the Coalition State Government signed a contract for the manufacture of the new Regional Rail Fleet to replace the ageing XPT, Endeavor and Xplorer train sets, however contract didn’t include replacement sleeper carriages.

RTBU NSW Branch Secretary Alex Claassens said the decision to not replace the sleeper carriages was regrettable and short-sighted.

“Around the world we’re seeing more interest rail tourism, and people looking for niche experiences like sleeper trains. In fact, in NSW we’re seeing an incredible uptake in regional train travel as we emerge from the pandemic.

“No date has been set for the delivery of the new train sets, so there is still time fix this mistake, and to make sure the new trains can provide the same level of service as the old trains.

“That’s why we’re calling for the Minns State Government to arrange for a local train manufacturer to design and build new sleeper carriages compatible with the new trains.”

RTBU National Executive Director Stewart Prins, who lives in Lismore in regional NSW, said sleeper carriages played a vital transport role for people in regional areas.

“It’s really important that regional communities have access to comfortable, convenient and affordable low-emission transport options to get them to and from the major cities.

“Not everyone can drive, and not everyone can afford a plane ticket.  A ticket in a sleeper carriage however gets you all the way to central station, and you get a night’s accommodation on the train as well.

“As a community, we need to show the State Government how much we value access to the sleeper carriages, and make our voice heard in Sydney.”

To sign the Save Our Sleepers petition go to https://www.megaphone.org.au/p/saveoursleepers

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