Sydney trains blames stray balloon for network shutdown

Sydney trains has blamed a stray balloon for the network drama on Friday, causing commuter chaos.

There were issues on the railway network the entire weekend, with a fallen tree at Springwood on Sunday and a computer upgrade malfunction a day earlier.

But on Friday passengers were forced to disembark in a tunnel after a software failure, reportedly sparked by a rogue balloon.

“It is my understanding [that on Friday] evening a metallic balloon found its way into a tunnel and caused an overhead electricity wire to short,” NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance told the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday evening.  

“This led to a major incident in which Sydney Trains had to disembark passengers in a tunnel.

“This was coupled with a software failure at Transport for NSW that led to the rebooting of the entire IT network.”

Barely a month has gone by this year without a major incident. Source: 7News

Sport fans complained last night’s commute to the AFL and Bledisloe Cup were also affected by earlier delays that stifled 29 routes.

Apologies are frequent and on Sunday NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “It disappoints me enormously when I see that happen and I want everyone to know that we’re working our guts out to make sure that those incidents are rare.” 

Delays stifled 29 routes on Saturday. Source: 7News

Barely a month has gone by this year without a major incident.

In January, there were mass cancellations because of emergency track work. In February, a power outage, emergency track work in March, wire repairs in April, a signalling failure in May and last month, more signalling work and computer upgrades.

But the Premier insists the network is improving.

Outages will continue as the government updates an archaic system that means when one line goes down, so do others.

“We’re investing more than a billion dollars at the moment to support separating the lines out, you’ll see less of that occurring,” the NSW Premier said.