Sydney Metro North West Enters Commercial Service

Sydney Metro North West entered commercial service on Sunday, 26 May. 

The operator, Metro Trains Sydney, will run the new trains every four minutes during peak times. This volume could be increased in the future, if needed. However, during the first six weeks, the operator will run trains every five minutes at peak times as a settling in process. The Metro North West Line is Stage 1 of Sydney Metro. It comprises 36km of track, 13 stations and one depot.

Further extension works are under way on the line. By 2024 the metro system will have 31 stations along a 66km line.

Sydney Metro Testing

With the final commissioning of the new trains for the Sydney Metro taking place in early May, they completed more than 180,000km of testing prior to the line’s opening at the weekend. The tests included a number of different aspects. For example, the trains underwent high-speed tests on the skytrain. The operators also calibrated their system with the platform screen doors. They further loaded a train with more than 100 one-ton tanks to simulate passenger loads.

In the run-up to the trains entering commercial service, Metro Trains Sydney and Sydney Metro tested all the passenger information displays at the stations and on board the trains. They also ensured that the operations control centre was running properly. This centre will manage the fully automated, driverless metro.

One of the features of the Sydney Metro is that it is the country’s first fully accessible railway. There are no large gaps between platforms and the trains. Furthermore, all the platforms are level with the trains.

The passenger screen doors offer safety and efficiency benefits. They protect people and objects from getting on to the tracks. At the same time they allow trains to enter and leave stations at greater speeds.

Sydney Metro train: an Alstom Metropolis trainset
Sydney Metro train: an Alstom Metropolis trainset © Trainsandtech under licence

Sydney Metro Rolling Stock & Signalling

Alstom has been heavily involved in the Sydney Metro project since 2014. Northwest Rapid Transit awarded it a contract to manage, design, supply, manufacture, test and commission 22 six-car Metropolis trains as well as its Urbalis 400 CBTC signalling solution. Alstom assembled the Metropolis trainsets at its centre of excellence in Sri City, India.

Each car features three double doors, large windows and pleasant LED lighting. Safety is also a key priority. The trains come with 24/7 CCTV monitoring. There are also emergency intercoms for passengers as well as way-finding aids.

Thanks to the communications-based train control system Urbalis 400, the trains can have a low dwell time at stations as well as a reduced headway on the line.

Alstom Maintenance Contract

Having fully delivered on this aspect of the contract, Alstom is also responsible for maintaining the trains, the signalling system, the depot and further equipment for a period of 15 years.

Alstom will use its HealthHub predictive maintenance system to perform its maintenance responsibilities. This set of tools includes features such as the ‘Catenary Tracer’, the ‘Track Tracer’, and the ‘Train Tracer’. The HealthHub can also detect broken rails and points.

Ling Fang, Senior Vice-President for Alstom in Asia-Pacific, said:

“Alstom is very proud to have partnered with the NRT consortium and Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) to deliver our world leading metro solutions for Sydney’s North West Metro. Sydney has now joined other great cities of the world (incl. Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Singapore) that benefit every day from Alstom’s metro solutions. The fully automated driverless metro is a first for Australia and will provide a step-change for the commuters of Sydney.”

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