Transport NSW TrainLink


NSW TrainLink is an Australian brand for the medium and long distance passenger rail and coach services of the New South Wales Government’s transport authority, Transport for NSW.

I have supported the marketing team to write web copy, email copy, case studies and media releases for customers and stakeholders.



A new trial conducted by NSW TrainLink has offered a positive, cost-effective and relatively simple solution to the ongoing challenge of anti-social behaviour on trains.

Prior to the trial, anti-social behaviour was on the increase on regional services, including:

  • misuse of public space,
  • begging,
  • harassment,
  • smoking,
  • unruly or nuisance behaviour, and
  • even violence against staff and other customers.

In fact, there was an average of 42 incidents of anti-social behaviour each month on trains, and regional crews regularly report unacceptable levels of abuse towards them, with an average of one assault against staff recorded each month.

The impact of such incidents can be seen in:

  • declining patronage,
  • reduced punctuality as crews deal with incidents and the aftermath,
  • increasing numbers of complaints,
  • reputational damage,
  • increased costs, and
  • loss of staff.

Clearly, something had to change.

Finding a solution

Given that Customer Value Research in 2013 identified ‘feeling safe whilst on a journey’ as one of the most important factors for customers, NSW TrainLink explored many options to find a solution.

Increased Police Transport Command presence and the installation of CCTV in the aged XPT and Explorer fleets (at a cost of $10-12 million) were considered but discarded. While CCTV can be a deterrent, most benefits are derived from post-event analysis and action – which doesn’t add up to patrons feeling safer.

A more immediate, proactive solution was needed.

Provide a summary of the final status of the project, including

  • Confirmation that the delivered project solution is fit for purpose, including any agreed defects remaining and client/stakeholder comments
  • Contractual status including Practical and Final Completion, defect liability period, warranties, guaranties and performance reports
  • Results of inspections and testing outcomes (attach a copy of the Test Report and/or Final Inspection Report)
  • Results of any training conducted (attach a copy of the Training Report)
  • Business readiness and transition to business as usual/ongoing operations outcomes

The PSC Trial

On 31 August 2015, NSW TrainLink commenced a two-month trial of Personal Safety Cameras (PSC). As part of the trial, 14 PSC devices were progressively introduced to regional on-board Passenger Services Supervisors, and were operational during the trial period.

It is worth noting that the trial utilised a 24/7 specialist monitoring facility (SafeTCard Monitoring Centre), featured warning decals and PSC-specific posters on all regional services, introduced PSC and safety-related on-board PA announcements, and was supported by a media campaign. [insert visuals of posters and the PSC]

The total cost of the PSC Trial, excluding internal labour costs, was $38,000.

Trial Outcomes

When the trial concluded on 30 October 2015, the following outcomes were achieved and/or identified.

  • During the trial period, a total of 309 trips were covered by on-board staff using PSC, resulting in two positive red alerts with one PSC audio recording requested for evidence by NSW Police. Throughout the trial, PSC devices operated as expected and any initial performance issues were corrected quickly by SafeTCard.
  • On-board staff reported positive customer feedback, and there were no recorded complaints received regarding the use of PSC. Staff commented on a noticeable improvement of general behaviour during the trial.
  • Staff offered overwhelmingly positive feedback of their experiences, both verbally and through 30+ written reports.
  • The SafeTCard Monitoring Centre performed impressively. On-board staff reported a distinct level of comfort in being able to communicate directly with staff at the centre during incidents (and in the case of false red alerts).
  • Whilst the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour fluctuated month to month, there was a recorded average declining trend of reported incidents on all services during the trial period months.
  • In October, for the first time, there were no assaults against on-board crew. Seasonal factors and Police Transport Command operation were confirmed as not being a contributing factor to the decline.
  • The trial identified a need for a dedicated resource to manage deployment, use and operational use of the PSC solution.

Key results

There appears to be a direct correlation between the introduction of the PSC trial and a decreasing trend in the number of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour, assaults and general security incidents on regional services. Significantly, there were no reports in October 2015 of staff being assaulted by customers – a first for regional services.

The future

As a result of the trial, it is proposed that PSC now be used on all NSW TrainLink regional train services, with at least one PSC device to be used on each service.

An Investment Proposal will confirm details of the exact number of PSC devices to be deployed, including replacing a number of unsupported PSC used by staff at NSW TrainLink Travel Centres and lone worker station locations.

The Proposal will seek funding and business support for continued use, and will confirm localised security arrangements where required. The cost to deploy PSC is $300k, with an annual operating cost of $100k.

It is proposed that the PSC program will be sponsored by Customer Services Delivery and Customer Experience, and that the operation of the deployed PSC solution will be managed by the Customer Experience Manager, Safety and Security.


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