AUSTRALIA: Dynamic testing has started on the catenary-free section of the CBD & South East Light Rail line in Sydney, Transport for New South Wales announced on July 30.

The 2 km section from Town Hall to the northern terminus at Circular Quay is equipped with Alstom’s APS ground-level power supply to allow catenary-free operation. APS uses an embedded third rail to supply power to trams, with the conductive segments live only while a tram is passing over them.

Due to open later this year, the 12 km route will link Circular Quay in the north with Randwick and Kingsford in the south, serving 19 stops. Testing on the first section of the line began last year.

Alstom is part of the ALTRAC Light Rail consortium, which has a A$2·1bn PPP contract to build, operate and maintain the route. Other consortium members include Transdev Sydney, Acciona Infrastructure Australia and Capella Capital, in addition to three equity investors: John Laing, First State Super and Acciona Concesiones.

Alstom is supplying a fleet of 60 Citadis X05 five-section light rail vehicles, which are intended to operate in 67 m long coupled pairs. The manufacturer is also supplying signalling, power supply equipment, its HESOP energy recovery system and depot equipment.