Complaints as passenger train breaks down near Muswellbrook with no evacuations

HOT DAY: Jason Brown aboard the broken down XPT near Muswellbrook. Picture: Supplied

HOT DAY: Jason Brown aboard the broken down XPT near Muswellbrook. Picture: Supplied

PASSENGERS stranded on a broken down train near Muswellbrook are demanding answers after they were forced to wait on-board for four hours with no air-conditioning.

The Sydney to Armidale Xplorer train failed shortly after 1pm, five minutes south of Muswellbrook, and by 6pm was only just being towed to Muswellbrook station.

Newcastle man Jason Brown told the Herald from the train the heat was “unbearable” until the air-conditioning was switched back on about 5pm.

He said water ran out within the first hour of breaking down. Toilets also became unusable.

“It got up to at least 40 degrees outside, and I’d say it felt like 50 degrees inside,” Mr Brown said.

“The staff on-board have been great, they’ve done everything possible … but whoever controls evacuation systems needs to answer for this.

“I can see the New England Highway, it is only 250 metres away.

“You cannot have a train-load of people wait for four hours in this heat.”

NSW Trains said buses and help are being readied upon the train being towed back into Muswellbrook.

The first shunting operation failed, but the train moved on the second attempt.

NSW Trains said staff on-board were trying to keep passengers as comfortable as possible.

It is understood coal trains were halted while the passenger train remained idle.

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