Editorial July 13 2018: Um, Minister, you caught the wrong train


It appears our plain English might not have been good enough for the Transport Minister Andrew Constance.

Earlier this week Labor’s spokesman for the Illawarra Ryan Park invited Mr Constance to join him for a ride on the South Coast Line train from Central to Thirroul during a peak period.

We at the Illawarra Mercury thought it was a wonderful idea and offered to pay for the Transport Minister’s fare.

We even offered to pay for the Premier’s ticket should she be willing to join him and throw in packet of barley sugars for the trip.

We figured, as Mr Park obviously did, it would be a good way for Mr Constance to experience the serious overcrowding issues on the South Coast Line.

There is nothing like living experience for yourself.

“Yippee,” we foolishly thought.

Imagine then our sadness to discover it was not a South Coast Line train the Minister was boarding with the Premier it was the first of the new Waratah Series 2 trains riding all the way from Olympic Park to Central.

In the middle of the day.

Silly us, Minister, you must have misheard us?

Clearly our front page offer wasn’t clear enough.

We hope you didn’t strain yourself in the crush of a handful of journalists and photographers who would have joined you for your comfy little train trip into the city.

We hope you didn’t strain your brain with all the choices of seats you had to chose from.

We also hope you didn’t strain your shoulder from patting yourself on the back for what a wonderful job you think you are doing for the commuters of Sydney.

Minister, imagine the delight the commuters on the South Coast Line would have felt in reading your over enthusiastic press release on Thursday.

“We are catering for the growing demand of people relying on public transport and it won’t be long until these trains start carrying customers in the areas where older trains are currently running. Priority will be given to services on the T2 Inner West and Leppington, T3 Bankstown and T8 Airport and South Lines,” Mr Constance said. 

Minister, when you want to get a real taste of your train network, our original offer stands.