Oatley is the phantom station on the South Coast line.
In the morning peak hour, trains travelling from the Illawarra stop at the station, located between Sutherland and Hurstville.
Between 6.18am and 7.20am, five trains heading to Central stop at Oatley. Yet the station does not appear on the official CityRail South Coast timetable – either in the printed or online version.
Indeed, it appears the only way to find out when the trains from Wollongong stop at Oatley is to use the trip planner on the transport website 131500.com.au.
For instance, the trip planner states the train that leaves Wollongong at 6.37am stops at Oatley at 7.39am.
But, according to the online timetable for the South Coast line, the 6.37am train reaches Sutherland at 7.32am and the next stop is Hurstville at 7.45am.
The stop has also confused a number of rail commuters, who have been unable to understand why the morning services now suddenly include a visit to Oatley.
A Transport for NSW spokesman said the morning stop at Oatley was simply due to ‘‘capacity’’ issues.
‘‘To better balance capacity on trains, some peak South Coast line services stop at Oatley station,’’ he said.
‘‘Due to train path availability on the suburban network, this stop does not impact on overall journey times for South Coast line customers.’’
As for the reason the stop is strangely absent from both forms of the timetable?
‘‘Oatley was not added to the South Coast line timetable booklet due to the small number of South Coast services stopping at this station and very low demand for South Coast customers travelling to this station,’’ he said.