TRAINS in New South Wales will shut down for 24 hours at the end of the month after the The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) announced a strike across the network.

Train workers across Sydney and in the state network will stop work from 12.01am on Monday, January 29 in the wake of a bitter pay and working conditions dispute.

The strike was announced on Tuesday, with the union attributing it to Sydney Trains and NSW Trains management "refus[ing] to negotiate a fair and reasonable enterprise agreement".

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the strike "will shut down the city".

He described the decision as "extraordinary" and "weird behaviour from a union boss".

The strike comes a week after a shortage of drivers plunged the Sydney rail network into chaos, stranding thousands of commuters with hours of delays.

The RTBU's NSW secretary, Alex Claassens, sympathised with travellers, but said: "If worse comes to worst, stay home".

"The trains will go to bed on Sunday night and won't come back out on Monday," he said.

News Corp Australia

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