Sydney’s driverless metro train has completed its first full test run along the Metro Northwest corridor, arriving at Chatswood station early on Monday afternoon.
The $8.3 billion railway line stretches 36km from Chatswood to Tallawong in the city’s northwest, sections of which have been upgraded from existing infrastructure to accommodate the new fleet of single-deck, autonomous trains.
However, more than 19,000km of train testing has taken place so far on the Sydney Metro system, the government said in a release, with 17 out of 22 trains having already been delivered - up from nine in July when the Alstom-manufactured trains underwent their first major tests.
Further tests of the onboard train systems, signalling, acceleration and braking will be conducted before the planned opening of the Metro Northwest line in the second quarter of this year.
“We’re finishing stations, car parks and testing trains to get the Northwest rail line open as quickly as possible, on time and at least $500 million under budget,” minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said.
Both Constance and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian were in Chatswood as the train completed its trial run, standing behind the platform screen doors that are somehow being touted as a tech feature due to the fact they will only open as the train’s doors open.
“These platform screen doors are a major customer safety feature of all Sydney Metro stations,” Constance said.
“They keep people and objects like prams away from the tracks, creating a physical barrier at the edge of the platform which also allows trains to get in and out of stations much faster.”
Berejiklian added that the trains are expected to operate as a “turn up and go” service during rush hour, with a train departing every four minutes.
Stage two of the Metro project, which covers the line from Chatswood through to Sydenham, is still undergoing construction, with tunnel excavation expected to continue until halfway through next year.
Testing of trains and equipment is then expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
A huge and very exciting day for Sydney Metro: Australia’s first driverless metro train has completed its first journey along the entire length of the new Metro Northwest railway line.— Andrew Constance MP (@AndrewConstance) January 14, 2019
The project is just months from opening - on time and at least $500 million under budget. pic.twitter.com/M5B0A7WWGk