Regional trains have stopped running throughout parts of regional NSW and Victoria after Transport for NSW cancelled services over a dispute with the rail workers' union.
Services were canceled overnight after talks between the NSW Government and the union fell apart overnight after a Fair Work Commission hearing.
Trains running between Sydney's Central station and Armidale, Casino, Grafton and Melbourne have been affected, including stops at Goulburn, Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbor, Kempsey, Maitland, Albury and Wangaratta.
Road coaches have replaced some TrainLink services and cancelations are expected to continue tomorrow.
Services from Newcastle, Kiama and the Blue Mountains have also been affected.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW secretary Alex Claassens said workers turned up to work this morning prepared to take part in low-level protected industrial action which would not have affected commuters, only to be told by management that trains would not be running today.
"All members were at work, ready to work. They were ready and waiting to crew the trains only to be told the trains aren't running today. There is no impediment, only stubbornness on behalf of the NSW Government," he said.
The dispute between the government and the union revolves around negotiating a new enterprise agreement. The union wants commitments no routes are lost in the case of privatisation, improved safety, and hygiene standards.
"We're trying to negotiate an enterprise agreement that enshrines safety on our train network," Mr Claassens said.
"For the NSW Government to suggest otherwise is unbelievable. It's time the NSW Government stopped trying to bully workers into submission and starting resolving the laundry list of safety and employment issues workers have raised."
Amy Johnston, who was headed home to the Central Coast, was one of hundreds left stranded in central Sydney in the early hours of Monday morning.
"I got to central for the 12.48[am] train to Morisset and about 12.42, they cancelled that train and told us there will be a 1.48 [train]. But half an hour later they said all trains had been cancelled and they were arranging alternative transport," she said.
"Then nothing, no information except an indicator board saying catch NightRide to your closest destination and then arrange transportation from there. I was lucky I was with a work friend or I would have been alone. We waited around Central till before 2am then walked to Town Hall to catch a NightRide bus to Hornsby," she said.
It took Ms Johnston, who celebrated her birthday on Monday, seven hours to get home.
"I rang my partner and she drove down from Mandalong and picked us up from Hornsby. We then dropped my mate at Woy Woy and drove home. I got to Central to start my journey home at 12.15am and walked in my front door at 7.15am," she said.
"I was really upset 'cause today was my birthday."
Emily Dunn, a Maitland resident and regular commuter on Hunter and Newcastle trains, has to find alternative transport to her first class at the University of Newcastle on Tuesday morning. The train service she was planning to catch has been canceled.
Ms Dunn doesn't have her driver license yet and may have to get a lift with a family member or friend.
"For now, I am just going to try and stay calm," she said. "I am going to hope that whatever is going on with the trains gets sorted and they're back on soon because not only is it stressful and inconvenient for the community, it must also be so hard for the staff of NSW transport," Ms Dunn said.
Transport for NSW has been contacted for comment.