HISTORY has been made in New South Wales as for the first time test trains are running deep below Sydney Harbour as the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project enters its latest stage.

As part of the testing and commissioning programme for the new trains, they are travelling at an initial 25km/h through the 15.5km-long twin tunnels which extend the Metro North West Line from Chatswood to Sydenham.

Train speeds will be gradually increased to a maximum of 110km/h and each train will also undergo acceleration, braking and systems checks on the newly-completed line to ensure reliable operation under normal service conditions.

Onboard monitoring underway inside one of the test trains. Photo credit: Sydney Metro

On-track testing and commissioning will continue throughout this year, with scheduled passenger services expected to start through the Sydney central business district in 2024. After the line opens, it is estimated that the journey time from Central station to Chatswood will be 15 minutes, the time taken to travel from Martin Place to Sydenham will be 11 minutes, and the journey time from Victoria Cross station in North Sydney to Barangaroo will be only three minutes.

Meanwhile, all the platform screen doors for the new city stations forming part of the project have been installed - a total of 288 doors stretching 2.7km over the eight stations of Crows Nest, Victoria Cross, Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt Street, Central, Waterloo and Sydenham. The installation of the doors, weighing 175kg each, took over 36,700 hours with an average of 35 workers undertaking installation across the city stations each day.

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