Sydney’s North West Metro is set to open on 26 May, a week after the federal election.
The new Metro line, Australia’s biggest public transport project, will run from Tallawong to Chatswood.
Final commissioning of Sydney’s new generation of driverless trains is currently underway with more than 180,000km of testing complete. To put this in perspective, a trip around the Earth at the equator is 40,000km.
The Metro North West Line includes 13 stations between Tallawong and Chatswood and 4000 commuter car parking spaces.
Testing of Sydney Metro trains has included high speed tests on the skytrain, calibrating the system with the platform screen doors and loading one train with more than 100 1,000L tanks of water to simulate customer loads.
The Metro line is currently being extended from Chatswood to Bankstown and by 2024 Sydney will have 31 metro stations and a 66km standalone metro railway.
The rail service between Rouse Hill and Chatswood is turn up and go, which means customers will not require a timetable.
At full operation, trains will run every four minutes in each direction at peak times on the Metro North West Line – 15 trains an hour each way – with the ability to run up to every two minutes in the future.
During the initial settling in period over about six weeks, trains will run every five minutes at peak to allow the new system to ramp up to full frequency.
Australian-first technology like platform screen doors keeps people and objects like prams away from the tracks and allows trains to get in and out of stations much faster.
Sydney Metro is Australia’s first fully accessible railway, with lifts at all stations and level access between platforms and trains, so passengers no longer need to step into a train over a large gap.
The commissioning process has involved the national rail safety regulator at every step of the way.
To support the introduction of metro rail, improvements have been made to the bus network in Sydney’s north west so that customers can easily access the new Metro stations.
More than 1,500 additional weekly services have been added to the timetable and changes to some existing routes will be introduced to include stops at local Metro stations and support growing residential areas.
Until 26 May, Sydney Metro and the operator of the Metro North West Line, Metro Trains Sydney (MTS), will run the trains to the schedule planned for when the line opens and will carry out final checks and refinements to the system.
During this time MTS will:
- Continue to test systems and technology associated with operating the line, such as passenger information displays, platform screen doors and internal customer information systems in the metro trains
- Monitor and fine tune the running of the 24/7 Operations Control Centre, which will now oversee the fully automated operations of the driverless metro trains
- Work with Sydney Metro, Sydney Trains and Transport for NSW to make final adjustments to the interface between Sydney Metro and other modes of transport across the network, so that the transport system is ready for when the Metro North West Line opens
These measures aim to ensure the systems, technology and interfaces are ready to go when the stations and new metro trains are open to the community.
NSW Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, said the project will “deliver fast, safe and reliable travel”.
NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said the project represented a major milestone for NSW.
“This is an exciting time for the future of public transport. Thousands of commuters will have access to world class metro rail,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We have delivered the North West Metro on time and more than $1 billion under budget.
“This project is the result of hard work, discipline and focus. I want to thank all those involved in delivering this important project.”