Train delay costs NYE revellers $5000
TRAIN delays in Sydney caused chaos for thousands of revellers on New Year's Eve, with one unlucky group being left more than $5000 out of pocket.
Mal Johnston, from Dee Why, blasted Transport NSW for "ruining" his and his friend's NYE.
The 45-year-old had six friends visiting from Taiwan and China who had all paid $725 each for an all-inclusive harbour cruise to watch the fireworks but the delays meant they missed out.
The ferry was set to depart at 7pm so the group took at 5.30pm train service from Chatswood to Wynyard which would usually take around 20 minutes, ensuring they got to the departure site in plenty of time.
But Mr Johnston said signal failures saw their train stuck at Milson Point for an hour, resulting in a 93 minute trip.
He claimed passengers were given no indication about how long the delay would be and the group even got on another train to try and make sure they got to the ferry on time, but that service was also delayed.
When it became clear they weren't going to make the 7pm departure time Mr Johnston contacted Vagabond Cruises who told him they could only hold the boat for 10 minutes, theSydney Morning Herald reported.
However, they arrived 20 minutes late and the cruise had already departed.
"The Sydney trains were an international disgrace last night," Mr Johnston wrote on Twitter.
"At 6pm, signal failures at Central meant our train was stuck for 1hr at Milson Point. Our party of 7 missed our harbour cruise. $5000 no refund."
The group reportedly tried to get to the boat by asking for a lift from other friends on the harbour and calling a water taxi but nothing worked.
News.com.au has contacted Vagabond Cruises for comment.
Defeated, Mr Johnston took his friends back to their hotel in Chatswood where they watched the fireworks on the TV in their room.
He said the delays they experienced couldn't even be blamed on the thunderstorms that hit later and knocked down vital infrastructure.
The wild weather meant there were extensive delays all across the train network later in the evening.
At 9.30pm, it took passengers more than an hour to ride the two kilometres from Town Hall to Redfern and even longer after the midnight fireworks.
Tens of thousands of people who had converged on the Harbour City for festivities crowded into stations and spilt onto streets waiting for trains arriving late and sometimes not at all.
Numerous lines had been affected by lighting strikes meaning crowds were unable to leave the city for hours.
Transport officials are hopeful all services will be back to normal today, after many services were still experiencing delays as late as yesterday afternoon.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the "freak" thunderstorm and record crowds put massive pressure on the system.
"We've seen many New Year's Eves where things have gone fantastically smoothly; unfortunately that wasn't the case last night and I completely accept why people would feel frustrated," she told reporters on Tuesday.