The NSW government is trying to resolve a deadlock with the rail union over safety concerns with new intercity trains that has stretched to more than a year.
Premier Dominic Perrottet met with Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW secretary Alex Claassens on Monday after negotiations blew up last week.
"These are world-class trains, they are world leading and they should be on the tracks," Mr Perrottet said on Monday.
But Mr Claassens vehemently denied the government's assessment.
"They (the trains) are unsafe. People will fall down between the train and the platform and they will die," he told AAP after a fresh round of negotiations.
The union argues guards on the Korean-built Mariyung fleet will not be able to adequately monitor the safety of passengers on platforms as the trains arrive and depart.
He vowed the union would continue to negotiate in good faith after five productive weeks of back and forth with Transport for NSW and Transport Minister David Elliott.
However, he squarely blamed Finance Minister Damien Tudehope who abruptly ended negotiations with the union on Thursday.
Mr Tudehope said he would not support any requests which delayed the introduction of the new fleet, including fixing safety concerns held by the union.
The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator approved the trains as safe in July.
But the union said the safety assessment was conducted by the same company that built the trains, and they had independent assessments stipulating the trains were not safe.
Mr Tudehope said on Friday the union should raise any safety concerns with the regulator and he would not submit the union's claims for fixes, which Transport for NSW said would cost $1 billion, to the government's expenditure review committee.
But Mr Claassens disputes the department's "gold-plated" and "inflated" cost estimates, saying the fixes will not "cost that sort of money".
Mr Perrottet said the union should accept the safety regulator's decision.
"What's the point of a safety regulator if they say (the trains) are safe and the trains won't operate? We may as well not have a safety regulator," he said.
The premier said he accepted the union and the government would not agree on everything but a compromise was needed so the trains could start running.
It is a view that Mr Claassens also shared but urged the government to consider the safety concerns of passengers as a top priority.
"We do want the trains to be made safe," he said.
"Once they're made safe, we'll go out and run them around the countryside, no issue at all."
Australian Associated Press
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