Rail workers demand answers over Newcastle line truncation

THE removal of the city’s heavy rail will spell big changes for rail workers as well as passengers, prompting criticism from their union about a lack of consultation as the government pushes ahead with its plans, reports the Newcastle Herald.

It comes as opponents of the rail’s truncation met on Monday to devise protest tactics.

Rail staff based at Wickham, Civic and Newcastle will relocate to Broadmeadow or to Hamilton station, where demountable buildings have been brought in to house them for at least two years while the new interchange at Wickham is completed.

But union Newcastle organiser Steve Wright said getting information, including details of arrangements for the start of works on Boxing Day, out of the government had been like pulling teeth.‘‘We’re not being told anything,’’ he said.

The Transport spokesman said overhead wiring would be removed as soon as possible to make way for new pedestrian crossings and to reduce the potential for theft of copper wiring and vandalism.

Protesters are expected to try to disrupt the works… Greens transport spokeswoman Mehreen Faruqi said about 70 people attended to discuss options including seeking advice for possible legal action, and measures for ‘‘non-violent direct action’’.

‘‘There are a lot of people who feel passionately about this and want to protest against the Baird government’s plans, of course within the parameters of doing it peacefully,’’ Dr Faruqi said.

Read the full article at the Newcastle Herald.