Not only is this Australia’s first metro line it is also the first automated passenger operation in Australia to use driverless trains. In addition, the 13 stations on the line are the first in Australia to be equipped with platform screen doors.

Much of the newly-constructed 23km rail line between Tallawong and Epping is underground with 15.5km in twin tunnels between Bella Vista and Epping, and 4.4km on a continuous viaduct between Kellyville and Rouse Hill. At Epping the new line has been extended to include the former Sydney Trains 13km Epping - Chatswood rail line which has been converted for driverless metro operation.

The Northwest Rapid Transit Consortium (NRT), comprising MTR, John Holland, Leighton Contractors, UGL Rail Services and Plenary Group, previously won the $A 3.7bn public-private partnership (PPP) contract to supply trains and systems, which includes a 15-year operation and management contract. The fleet comprises 22 six-car Alstom Metropolis EMUs which are fitted with Alstom’s Urbalis 400 CBTC system. The line is electrified at 1.5kV dc overhead.

Macquarie University station on the Epping - Chatsworth section which has been upgraded for metro operation. Photo: Paul Hogan

Chatswood will be the major interchange between Sydney Metro Northwest metro line and the Sydney Trains commuter rail network for access to the city centre until stage two, the Metro Sydney City & Southwest line, opens in 2024. Construction of the $A 12.5bn 30km line is well underway. Two more metro lines are planned to serve the second Sydney airport at Badgery’s Creek and the western suburbs out to Parramatta.

A full report on the Sydney metro will appear in the June issue of IRJ.

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