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Australian News Update 25th March 2019

Posted by: Paul Harris
Industry News

Investments for Sydney Rail & Roads following election result 

Following the New South Wales election, a number of promised investments are now set to come to fruition in the next year.

On railway-related infrastructure, more trains and more tracks are expected to be implemented across the network in New South Wales. 17 of the Waratah Series 2 trains will be added alongside the 24 already delivered to the state. There will also be eight other express services on the T1 Western Line during the morning and evening peak.

The government is also set to provide $6.4bn towards a new high-frequency Sydney Metro West rail line between Parramatta and Sydney city. Construction is now due to begin early 2020.

The North-South Metro Rail Line, which will connect St Marys station and the upcoming Western Sydney Airport, is now expected to be delivered during this term. The Metro South West extension, planned to connect Bankstown to Liverpool, has an expected completion date of May.

In highways news, $1.2bn is now expected to be spent to open up the roads.

As part of the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS), investment includes the construction of smart traffic lights at over 500 intersection and an increase in smart motorways projects. Digital parking signage, traffic drones and digital messaging also rank among the technology-focused projects which are now planned to get off the ground the coming year.

An additional $1bn will also be invested into regional council roads and bridges, and the Great Western Highway will be duplicated, bringing the number of lanes up to four. Full story.

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Digital systems to transform Sydney’s railway

Sydney’s rail network has served the city for over 100 years and has seen a 30% increase in annual journeys since 2013. Stephen Lemon, Program Director Digital Systems, Transport for NSW explains that as demand continues to grow it is critical to increase capacity of the existing rail network by modernising systems and technology.

Sydney’s Digital Systems program will increase network capacity and enable more frequent and reliable services. The first stage of the program began in 2018 and saw the New South Wales Government allocate over $800m to replace legacy signalling and train control technologies with modern, internationally proven, intelligent systems.

Moving forward, there are three main elements to the Digital Systems program:

  • Replacing trackside signalling equipment with the latest European Train Control Systems (ETCS) Level 2 technology
  • Implementing Automatic Train Operation to assist drivers, who will still remain in control, and provide faster and more consistent journey times
  • Introducing a Traffic Management System (TMS) for more effective incident management and service regulation across the network

These elements will enable the increase in network capacity that is crucial to satisfying current and future demand. Lemon also highlighted that the technology will allow for safer and more efficient operation and maintenance, and lower energy consumption.

The program brings together Global rail technology, including from UK enterprise. The Digital Systems program will be delivered in stages with services progressively deployed from the early 2020s. Full story.

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