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Trains delayed as NSW rail stoush drags on

Commuters again faced delays after rail workers walked off the job in an ongoing industrial dispute. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

NSW train commuters have again been affected by targeted strikes with some services cancelled and others on reduced timetables.

The state government and rail union will discuss the strike and service disruption at two meetings on Thursday after the latest episode in their long-running stoush.

Sydney Trains chief executive Matt Longland said Wednesday's strike would affect about 70,000 commuters who regularly travel on Sydney's T4 Eastern line and the Illawarra and South Coast lines.

Services operated as usual until about 9am, when trains were returned to stabling yards and depots before the six-hour strike action began at 10am.

The timetable was expected to return to normal by Wednesday evening.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union blamed the government for suspending services, saying it was unnecessary.

"We picked (the T4 line) because we knew we could easily get additional staff from other areas of the network ... so they could run more than the one hour service that they've done today," RTBU secretary Alex Claassens said on Wednesday.

"If we wanted to create a strike and stop trains altogether we could have done that," he added.

"We are quite disappointed that the management team didn't do enough to run extra trains."

Further action is planned throughout August and will continue unless the government signs off on changes to a fleet of intercity trains the union says is currently unsafe.

The new trains have been sitting in storage since 2019.

The union is also seeking a new enterprise agreement, with the previous agreement expiring more than a year ago.

Meetings were scheduled with Transport Minister David Elliott on Tuesday but he was ill and those were cancelled.

The union has two meetings scheduled on Thursday, with Sydney Trains management and later with Mr Elliott and Employee Relations Minister Damien Tudehope.

Mr Tudehope told parliament on Tuesday the strike was designed to ensure commuters were "used as pawns" in industrial activity.

He accused Mr Claassens of making "absurd" and "disingenuous" claims.

"It is typical of the dishonest campaign that has been conducted by him and the union," he said.

In February, the government suspended trains during union action and claimed it was the result of a strike, which the RTBU said it was not taking.

The decision to suspend trains was made while Mr Elliott was asleep and he said he found out about it in a newspaper when he woke.

Mr Claassens suggested Premier Dominic Perrottet should get involved.

"I appreciate the premier has a lot on his plate ... this is something that can be addressed reasonably quickly."

Three more area-based strikes are planned before the end of the month and workers will also leave station gates open and refuse to operate foreign-built trains on some days.

The union is also banning work associated with the Sydney Metro transit project until September 10.

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