SERVICES will resume on Sydney’s 12.8km inner-city City - Dulwich Hill light rail line over the weekend of February 12 and 13 after being suspended in November following the discovery of cracks in the 12 Spanish-built CAF LRVs used on the line.
The LRVs will temporarily be replaced by six Alstom Citadis LRVs borrowed from the eastern suburban light rail line, which will run every 15 minutes from 06.00 to 23.00 daily, apart from on Fridays when they will operate until 00.00.
New South Wales minister for transport, Mr David Elliott, says repair work on the original fleet was continuing and is expected to be completed by the final quarter of 2022.
“Services will operate between Dulwich Hill and Central Station, which is the full line,” Elliott says. “This is better than the original plan to run these returning services between Lilyfield and Central while the Inner West trams are being fixed.”
A spokesperson for Transport for NSW (TfNSW) said the authority was working with the manufacturer to fix the affected plates on the LRV bogie boxes that developed fractures. These plates will be cut out and replaced with new reinforced plates, with the repairs already underway at the Pyrmont depot.
The six Citadis LRVs are sufficient to meet reduced demand on the Inner West line caused by the pandemic. However, the LRVs, track and station platforms needed to be modified for safe operation. The LRVs are slightly narrower, creating a larger gap between the vehicle and the platform, so a temporary “gap filler” will be installed on platforms. TfNSW chief operations officer, Mr Howard Collins, said the drivers had been trained to operate the Citadis LRVs on the route.
TfNSW declined to comment on the cause of the cracks, saying the question was a matter for the manufacturer to answer. In late 2021, the transport authority sent two staff members to Birmingham, Britain, to inspect remedial work on the same model of CAF LRV used in Sydney, which have also experienced cracks over wheel arches.