Sydney Trains needs “significant improvement” in its ability to handle emergencies, according to an internal report.

A report obtained by Fairfax Media under freedom of information highlights several shortcomings.

It details rail network meltdowns that resulted in “excessive business disruption”, “indefinite delays” and severe overcrowding on platforms.

The report said current frameworks used by Sydney Trains are too slow to recover from “unplanned incidents”.

There are also conflicting definitions of what constituted a major incident at Sydney Trains.

“Limited governance” in major incident handling a lack of communication between Sydney Trains' staff slows the recovery from major disruptions, the report said.

Sydney Trains boss Howard Collins said the organisation wants to understand its weaknesses.

“We reacted to that weakness,” he said.

“We now have recruited seven new managers to actually be the key people who ensure that these incidents are managed in the correct way.

“I feel that our team would be able to respond and working alongside all the other emergency services to deal with our railway and to deal with it in a safe way for our customers.”