The NSW rail system discriminates against blind and visually impaired passengers by failing to consistently tell them which station their train has reached, a court has found.
NSW Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes has won his 18-month discrimination battle against RailCorp, with a Federal Magistrate finding that the state-run corporation's station announcement system was "haphazard and uncoordinated".
"It would appear startlingly obvious to the lay observer that passengers traveling upon trains need to know where to get off," Federal Magistrate, Kenneth Raphael said.
"It would be equally obvious that this information would be provided in a way that was effective for all passengers."
"If not, the lay observer would conclude that those passengers...were being discriminated against."
He found that Mr Innes had been indirectly discriminated against as defined by the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act, awarding him $10,000 in compensation.
Mr Innes' claim was based on 35 train trips he made between March and September 2011, in which there were no announcements, or they were infrequent or inaudible.
In about one-third of cases the announcement system was faulty and the fault had already been reported.
Speaking outside court, a jubilant Mr Innes said he looked forward to RailCorp "accepting the umpires decision and working with me to make sure that everyone is told where they are".
"I offered to work with RailCorp many times to ensure that blind and vision-impaired people are treated just like everyone else, but they didn't want to do it, they wanted to have the legal argument. I look forward to them now taking the steps that are needed."