AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Sydney Millennium trains sidelined for tests

<p>Technical problems have forced the New South Wales Government to remove the Millennium train from service on Sydney’s suburban rail network for an indefinite period.</p> <p>Transport services minister Michael Costa has ordered the EDI Rail built Millennium trains off the tracks for a program of rigorous testing after an urgent report from rail coordinator general Vince Graham.</p> <p>The Millennium train is already the subject of a NSW auditor-general’s report &#8211 due to be tabled in Parliament this year &#8211 into why the project has gone over budget.</p> <p>"It’s clear from Mr Graham’s report there are technical issues which could adversely affect the reliability of the network," Mr Costa said.</p> <p>The entire fleet of four eight-car trains has been removed from service.</p> <p>Mr Graham’s report identified several problems:</p> <p>&#8226 Incidents where a passing Millennium train has locked signals in a red position, causing congestion with the next trains</p> <p>&#8226 Instances where the traction system of the train tripped out, causing the train to lose performance or stop. </p> <p>&#8226 Doors occasionally failing to close or to respond to guard control. </p> <p>&#8226 Loss of the digitised voice announcement and public address system.</p> <p>&#8226 Air conditioning problems maintaining even temperatures.</p> <p>Some of these problems were software related and have already been addressed, the report stated.</p> <p>Mr Graham said he believed the technical problems were failsafe.</p> <p>He also praised the train for many of the features at which it excels.</p> <p>The four trains withdrawn represent just 1% of carrying capacity.</p> <p>EDI Rail declined to comment.</p> <p>Mr Costa described the problems as teething problems similar to those experienced with the Tangaras, which are now the workhorse of the metropolitan network.</p> <br />