Passenger Rail, Rolling stock & Rail Vehicle Design

Light rail vehicle testing begins as new construction starts at Circular Quay

Western Sydney light rail. Artist's Impression: Transport for NSW

Dynamic testing has begun in France for the new vehicles that will eventually run on Sydney’s light rail network, the government has reported.

Testing of the first vehicle – the Citadis X05 — took place at an Alstrom test facility, where it travelled along a 750-metre test track at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour.

Each vehicle that will eventually run along the light rail line will be put through extensive testing in France before the first arrives in Australia in what is expected to be a few months.

Vehicle design has aimed at high passenger capacity to ease road congestion and make travel times faster. Each vehicle will be able to carry up to 450 people at once, and, potentially, 13,500 passengers per hour.

The vehicles are 98 per cent recyclable, and the design allows energy used in braking to be captured, recovered and reused. Moreover, use of energy efficient permanent magnet motors, LED lights, will further minimise the vehicle’s environment impact.

In other light rail news, major works are set to begin at Circular Quay from July 7 that will lead to traffic changes.

Alfred Street between Loftus and George Streets, and Loftus Street between Reiby Place and Alfred Street will be closed due to light rail construction, while access to the Rocks precinct will be maintained via one northbound lane and one southbound lane on George Street between Grosvenor and Alfred Streets.

According to coordinator general Marg Prendergast, the diversion of traffic over George Street would enable the public to see some of the progress that had been made towards getting the tracks complete.

“Light rail construction is really coming along with more than 7 kilometres of track installed so far, more than 1 kilometre of which is in the CBD,” Prendergast said.

“Once some of the hoardings come down, people will be able to see that 100 per cent of track has been installed, including paving laid between the rails down this stretch of George Street.”

Further work, such as road work, street furniture installation and tree planting, will continue alongside traffic on George Street between Grosvenor and Alfred Streets, and will lead to lane changes as it progresses.


  1. “energy used in braking to be captured, recovered and reused”??? Surely should read: “energy used in acceleration can be captured in braking and reused”.

  2. Or “Kinetic energy which would be normally be dissipated as heat during braking can be captured, stored, and reused to assist with acceleration”. That’s not renewable energy is it? There must be a coal bunker somewhere on board, for neoliberal propulsion.

  3. Interesting to see that what appears to be a complete tram arrived in Sydney last week.