Light rail powers up for testing in Randwick

25 October 2017

The new CBD and South East Light Rail is progressing to an exciting new phase with the installation of overhead wires to power the new trams now underway around Moore Park and Randwick.

Wires started going up in the area in mid-October and installation will continue in this section of the alignment over the next couple of weeks.  

Before the wires go up, poles are installed and a specialised crew attach cantilevers, cross spans and 'tie wires’ to support the overhead wires (also known as catenary) along the alignment.

The crew then pulls lengths of the overhead wire and attach from pole to pole before performing final adjustments and testing.

Alstom Testing and Commissioning Manager Olivier Pilloud said the overhead wire sits at a height of 5.5 metres above the track throughout most of the area.

While most vehicles can keep using Alison Road as they usually would, he urged anyone with an overheight vehicle or load to plan their journey ahead of time.

“For any advice you can get in touch with Roads and Maritime Services to get a permit to run your truck or your oversized vehicle,” he said.

Construction fencing will remain in place during overhead wire installation, but Mr Pilloud said the community would soon see the area change.

“We will start to remove the fencing step-by-step and the main purpose is for everybody to get a feel for the final product.”

When the overhead wires are in place and testing is complete, they will be energised and new signs installed warning contact with wires must be avoided at all times.

Following final safety checks on the light rail systems, vehicle testing will begin.

“This will involve various movements, initially at night, in order for us to test the traction and braking systems for the vehicle,” Mr Pilloud said.

“So the testing will take place for a few weeks at night and gradually we will move to the daytime, and then you will see more trams, more tests and the speed will increase as well during this period.”

The first movements will be within the Randwick Stabling Yard, and along Alison Road and Anzac Parade.

The light rail will be powered by overhead wiring along the alignment from the Town Hall stop at Bathurst Street to the Randwick Terminus and the Kingsford Terminus.

Between Circular Quay and Bathurst Street in the CBD the light rail will be wire free and powered by a third rail (APS) which eliminates the need for overhead wires.

The third rail is only powered when the vehicle runs over the rail, ensuring it is safe for pedestrians and all road users.

Further sections of the light rail alignment will be energised and tested in the coming months before driver training and the full line is tested prior to operation in 2019.

To stay up-to-date with the latest information visit our Safety page.