Saturday, October 11, 2008

RailCorp - followup II

I've been a bit slack of late, forgetting to follow up on a number of matters.  I finally got around to writing to RailCorp again this week in regard to a vandalised rail bridge in Lilyfield.  I reported it back in May, and it is still a mess.  

Let's see if I have any more luck this time.  Notice that I have pressed a few buttons that should make any RailCorp employee sit up and pay attention - alcohol, risk and trespassing.  If that doesn't get them moving, I'll have to pay a visit to our local newspaper and see if they want to run the story.

Disclosure - back in the early 1990's, I worked for a few months in the very unit that I wrote this letter to, although back then, it was the CityRail Ministerial Correspondence Unit (MCU).  My boss, who was a lovely man, never had a title so grand as "General Manager".  I guess the unit must be a lot larger now than it was back in the old days.  


11 October 2008


Mr Ben Johnson

General Manager

Ministerial Correspondence and Customer Relations


PO Box K349

Haymarket NSW 1238


Dear Mr Johnson

Removal of graffiti from railway structures in Leichhardt

I refer to my letter of 13 May 2008, and your response in June, reference 5451382-JCF.

It will soon be six months since I brought this matter to your attention, and to date, nothing has been done about it.  In August, I ran into a RailCorp maintenance crew parked near the bridge in question, and asked them if they were there to paint over the graffiti. 

They responded that they knew nothing about it, that nothing had been logged into the Ellipse maintenance system and that at the time, the position of GM of their division was vacant, meaning that there was no one with the authority to approve the cleaning or repainting of the bridge.

In the time since I first wrote to you, the RTA has repainted the adjacent pedestrian bridge on a number of occasions to remove graffiti.  Your vandalised rail bridge is acting as a magnet, drawing in vandals who are defacing other publicly and privately owned structures in the immediate vicinity.  The vandals are also using the rail corridor as a tip, leaving spray cans, alcoholic drinks and other rubbish behind. 

I would also like to point out that by leaving the bridge in its current condition, you are encouraging young people to partake in a particularly risky and hazardous endeavour – breaking into the railway corridor and climbing onto a bridge on a running line.  On the one hand, you are running the CityRail Youth Safety Outreach Program in an attempt to reduce risky, unsafe and “potentially fatal behaviour”, yet on the other hand, you leave a rail bridge covered in graffiti, which acts as a beacon for yet more risky, unsafe and potentially fatal behaviour. 

The presence of numerous empty “alcopop” containers in the rail corridor also suggests that the perpetrators are drunk when they are clambering over the bridge in question.  I am not sure how this sits with the RailCorp safety culture of being alcohol and drug-free.

Once again, can you please arrange to have the graffiti removed from this bridge, and the surrounding rail corridor cleaned up. 

In your response, please quote the Ellipse work order number for these tasks.

Yours sincerely

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