As for the trains, I've caught trains since 1982 - first to school, then uni now work. Whenever there's a stuff up, I always take solace in the bad old days.
The big problem with our public transport here is lack of planning over the years by govts of all forms. Part of that stems from the piece-meal way Sydney grew, so that lines are patched together as the city grows, which leads to flow-on problems. As things stand, because of the way the lines are set up, if a train breaks down at North Sydney it affects people travelling to Parramatta, Penrith etc. which is ridiculous, but I imagine it would be pretty hard to modify a system as old as ours without putting in new lines everywhere and taking people's homes off them.
The planning though, even now, is horrible. The Hills area in Sydney has exploded in recent years, yet there is no train line out there - why htey didn't put one in when they first released the land I will never know.
Still, I think it's safe to say that the train on the Harbour Bridge on Thursday didn't break down because of the ACTU, as much as Joe Hockey might want to put it down to union bosses.