SYDNEY, April 20 (Xinhua) -- A report the New South Wales State Government of Australia wanted to keep secret was revealed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Thursday, indicating a number of Sydney train stations will be at risk of overcrowding to the point of being dangerous.
Beca consulting firm conducted the study in 2015, using timetable projections for 2018-2024.
The report showed the infrastructure at Epping, Strathfield and North Sydney stations would not be adequate in future and could create an atmosphere for commuters that was "conducive to panic" with various bottlenecks.
Transport and Logistics Management expert Geoffrey Clifton at the University of Sydney explained to Xinhua that the issue will likely "get worse as more people move into the suburbs."
Adding to that, once the city's new rail line, the Sydney Metro, is completed, "there will be a lot more people transferring to the existing train services and that's what will trigger those high levels of overcrowding," the expert said.
There are a mixture of things that need to be done in order to alleviate the problem, Clifton said.
"Simply building extra train lines is the obvious solution, but that is quite expensive and will endure a lengthy time delay."
"We can also look at improving the stations themselves by adding more exits, corridors and things like that, or we can also try and improve the trains by taking out seats and getting people moving more quickly," Clifton said.
Despite the heavy scrutiny the state government has received for commencing a legal battle with the ABC over the release of the report, Clifton said "the fact that they did these studies at all indicates they are on top of these issues."
"But the problem is that our population is growing much quicker that anyone was expecting and more people are using more trains more often."
"So even with the best intentions in the world, no matter how much they invest, it seems we're going to be playing catch up for a while," the expert said.