800 commuters held up

An estimated 800 Sydney commuters, many from the IT industry, were stranded on an inner West train line for more than an hour this morning.

After 26 minutes of silence from Cityrail officials, the packed trainload of city-bound passengers travelling from Sydney's West was eventually informed that there was a defective train on the line and that their train would be terminated at the next station (Ashfield).

While many of the outraged mobile-phone-carrying commuters began to call workplaces and reschedule meetings, some started to calculate the costs in lost productivity and disruption to the start of the working week.

One senior executive from an IT training company said she had a large sales team standing idly by while she was being detained by Cityrail, and shuddered to estimate the cost of the delay.

"It is totally unacceptable," said another IT industry worker. "Trains break down, sure, but to have the passengers kept uninformed of what is going on is outrageous," he added.

The result of the incident was at least one trainload of Sydney commuters was approximately one-and-a-quarter hours late for work, school, exams, study, sightseeing and who knows what.

In lost productivity and opportunity, one commuter estimated the cost at "hundreds of thousands of dollars".

At noon today, Cityrail was yet to reply to ARN's request for an explanation.