Temporary changes made to Metlink rail services due to increased staff absence

Service Changes

Selected Metlink rail services will be either suspended, replaced by buses, or have reduced capacity from Tuesday 13 December until Sunday 29 January 2023 due to a shortage of available staff. 

Metlink General Manager Samantha Gain said the rail network is currently experiencing a high level of staff unavailability due to sickness and leave resulting in an increase of unplanned cancellations. 

“To alleviate the issue, Metlink is introducing targeted suspensions to create a more stable timetable for customers. Suspended services will be shown struck out on the Metlink website and detailed in service alerts,” Ms Gain said. 

A service is selected for suspension based on the shortest wait time for the next train as well as patronage levels of trains before and after the suspended service. This ensures passengers catching an earlier or later train still have room.  

Metlink is working closely with its rail operator to run as many services as possible although trains may have fewer carriages depending on the number of available staff. 

Rail services replaced by buses are highlighted in pink in the online timetable. 

From Friday 23 December, the Metlink Christmas timetable takes effect with rail services running to either the Saturday or Sunday timetable, through until 4 January 2023. 

“We expect fewer cancellations over the holiday period as fewer trains are scheduled to run which requires less staff,” Ms Gain said. 

“Our operator’s training school and recruitment programme, however, will continue over the Christmas break. We hope this increases staff levels before we return to our regular rail timetable on Monday 30 January 2023.” 

Passengers are encouraged to check Metlink’s online timetable before they travel or call the contact centre on 0800 801 700. Customers can also subscribe to MyMetlink through the website or app to receive notifications about a particular service.