End of the line ... 750 jobs have been lost.

End of the line … 750 jobs have been lost.

Voluntary redundancies will be offered to 750 middle-management positions, about one in five at that level.

Ms Berejiklian said the cuts would not affect front-line services, but offered little information on who would be eligible for redundancy.

The second initiative is to split RailCorp into two, establishing NSW Trains to operate regional services, and Sydney Trains to service city passengers.

The third will create a specialist division responsible for train cleaning.

Ms Berejiklian would not say how much money the government expected to save as a result of the changes.

“We need to fix the trains,” she said.

“They need to be cleaner, they need to be more reliable.”

Under Ms Berejiklian’s changes, Newcastle, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Illawarra and Southern Highlands services will be run by NSW Trains.

RailCorp will cease to exist, and Sydney Trains will run services through the rest of the network.

It remains unclear how splitting RailCorp into two will change the type and frequency of services offered to NSW and Sydney rail users.

“We need to cut the back office, we need to reduce the bureaucracy, we need more services, we need cleaner services,” the minister said.

Asked how cutting 750 jobs could lead to better services, Ms Berejiklian said: “Why is it that RailCorp has 20 times the number of senior managers the Department of Education has? Why is it that RailCorp has nearly four times the number of back office staff that the former RTA had? There is no reason that an organisation of that size should not put more resources into front-line services.”

The cleaning division, meanwhile, will operate with “new commercial benchmarks”. But it will continue to be government run, and all staff will remain government employees.

Following the announcement, rail unions slammed the government’s lack of detail about how the overhaul would lead to service changes, who would get redundancy and whether there were more cuts to come.

The NSW secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, Alex Claassens, said he would not rule out industrial action.

“I think at some point they will continue to come out and make suggestions about more people going; there’s no doubt about that,” Mr Claassens said. “And I think today’s announcement is the first of many.

“Nobody can deny that we need to make some improvements … but what we do want is sensible reform and proper consultation with all the stakeholders,” he said.

The NSW branch secretary of the Australian Services Union, Sally McManus, said: “You can’t say you are going to lose jobs, and service quality is going to go up; it’s illogical.”

The NSW Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Tim Ayres, said: “This has been a very disrespectful way for the NSW government to announce job cuts to the thousands of people who work in the NSW rail system.”