Transport company Transporter Cast was hit with a record number of delays in the lead-up to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing it to suspend trains to Sydney.
It was the second time in just over a month the company has been hit with such a delay.
Transporter Cast CEO Michael Naughton told ABC Radio Hobart that it was a very unfortunate event that was caused by the virus.
“We had a record amount of people on the trains because of a number of things, but we had a very significant number of people that had to be on standby, because of quarantine,” Mr Naughtons told ABC Hobart.
He said the company was forced to suspend train services on Friday as a precaution because of high volumes of passengers.
The company said it would continue to operate trains between Melbourne and Brisbane but did not say how many passengers were affected.
It has been reported that passengers were forced to wait in long lines for trains between Sydney and Hobart, even though there were trains to Melbourne.
Brisbane train drivers were also told to stay on the job until the coronasium was under control, despite warnings from the Health Department to cancel trains.
One passenger told ABC News Breakfast that passengers had to wait for up to two hours to board a train.
‘They just put us in our cars and drove us off the tracks’ The train that was stuck at the Sydney station on Monday morning, which had just arrived, was the only train in operation, the Transport for NSW said in a statement.
Its passengers were then taken to an off-site facility and put in their cars, the company said.
They were then moved to a “safe location” and were driven off the train.
The company was advised by the NSW Department of Health to cancel all train services between Sydney, Hobart and Brisbane, the statement said.
Transporter cast has been forced to temporarily suspend service between Melbourne, Hoborra, the Gold Coast and Adelaide.
Transport for NSW chief executive Greg Clarke said it was fortunate that all train traffic was suspended between Melbourne to Hobart on Monday.
Mr Clarke said the service was temporarily suspended to ensure that “the health and safety of our customers is protected”.
“Our customers have asked for this,” he said.
“Transporter cast is working with NSW and our other rail operators to ensure our customers have the same level of service as other passengers.”
Transporter casings and the remains of passengers were found in the tracks of the train on Tuesday morning, according to a statement from Transport for the Gold and the Sunshine Coast.
A spokeswoman for Transport for Tasmania said the train was “totally isolated” at the time and no passengers had been transported to the site for investigation.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government was “working very closely” with Transport for Victoria and Queensland Government on the issue.
Ms Palascik said it had been “extraordinary” to see a record of delays between Melbourne-Sydney and Hoborrent, and she was asking all Australians to get out of their cars and out of the bush.
She said she had been advised by Queensland Government officials to postpone the coronaeocarcinosis and travel advice, due to the number of passengers on the train at the moment.
Her comments came after Transport for Queensland revealed that a number more than 4,000 Queenslanders had been tested for the coronaviirus.
Tasmania’s Premier Annunzire Rayner said on Tuesday that her government had already “done what it can to keep people safe”, and she thanked people for the patience they showed.
Premier Rayner, who said she would make a statement on the situation later, said she was “pleased to learn that the State Government is in close contact with TransporterCast”.
“I know that they are doing all they can to support our colleagues, and I will make a further statement later today,” she said.
“But we must ensure that we are doing everything we can to help the Queensland Government make sure Queenslanders have the best possible travel experience.
”I am not here to criticise Transport for Gold and Sunshine Coast or anyone else for the way they handled the situation, but it is unfortunate that the situation has caused so much inconvenience to Queenslanders and I would ask the public to support Queenslanders.”
Transport Minister Darren Chester said his office had been informed about the number and type of passengers affected and that all of them were being transported to Sydney’s Kings Cross Airport.
His office said that Transporter casts staff had been told to “do whatever they can” to ensure the public’s safety.
“We are aware that the public are frustrated about the length of time it took to reach Kings Cross airport and to get to their destinations,” Mr Chester said.