AUSTRALIA: Testing has started on the CBD & South East Light Rail line in Sydney, Transport for New South Wales announced on February 25.

Night-time testing of an Alstom Citadis X05 light rail vehicle is taking place on a section of the future network on Alison Road in Randwick. Daytime testing is expected to commence in the coming months.

The five-section trams are intended to operate in 67 m long coupled pairs, offering capacity for 450 passengers. The network would have a capacity of 13 500 passengers/h. The first of 60 LRVs to operate on the network arrived in Sydney in August. Alstom is part of the ALTRAC Light Rail consortium, which has a A$2·1bn PPP contract to build, operate and maintain the 19-stop 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 also supplying signalling, power supply equipment, its HESOP energy recovery system and depot equipment.

The 12 km route is due to open in 2019, linking Circular Quay in the north with Randwick and Kingsford in the south. A 2 km section will be equipped with Alstom’s APS ground-level power supply to allow catenary-free operation.