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Pair of derailments cease Sydney rail service

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Sydney’s light rail line, which links Central Station and Sydney’s inner western suburbs via Haymarket, Pyrmont, Glebe and Rozelle, remains closed this week, after two trams derailed within minutes of each other on October 7. </span> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">Transdev Sydney, the operator of the line, confirmed on October 8 that a pair of light rail vehicles derailed at Rozelle Bay at 10.20pm and at Wentworth Park at 10.40pm, on October 7.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">“Quick response by maintenance crews ensured the Wentworth Park vehicle, derailed by two wheels, was rerailed and removed from site by 5am,” Transdev said at the time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">“The Rozelle Bay vehicle derailed by four wheels and remains at the location awaiting further rerailing assistance by work crews.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">Both vehicles were operating at reduced speed at the time of derailment, the company said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">Once maintenance crews deemed the respective sites to be safe, all customers disembarked from the vehicles without injury or harm, according to the transport company.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">Initially, Transdev said the cause of the derailment was suspected to be a network technical fault.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">“This is the first such incident of its kind in 15 years of light rail operation, and Transdev will be working with the relevant authorities to determine the cause of the two derailments,” said Matt Baynie, Transdev’s deputy managing director.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">“Operational and customer safety are key network considerations for Transdev and as a result we cannot operate services until the fault is thoroughly identified, investigated, rectified, and tested to be safe. We expect this to take several days.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">Three days after the incident, on October 10, Transdev announced it had enlisted the help of engineering firm, GHD, to perform an independent investigation into the derailments.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">So far, investigative work indicates that “there appears to be several contributing factors to the derailments that are related to an interface issue between the wheels and the rail that has led to accelerated friction and wheel wear,” the company said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">“The investigation is also assessing whether recent essential rail infrastructure works may have played a role.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">“At this stage, we don’t expect to be operational until at least the end of next week, at which time we may be able to commence a partial service,” Baynie said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">Meanwhile, NSW minister for transport, Gladys Berejiklian, announced that the government has extended an existing contract with Spanish manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) for the supply of six new light rail vehicles, adding to a previous order of six new and four leased vehicles, for the light rail line.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0ptline-height:115%Arial&quot,&quotsans-serif&quot">The $19m order means that over the next few years, the NSW Government will be able to retire the existing light rail fleet that has been in operation since the current service started, Berejiklian said.</span></p>