Sydney commuters will get to ride the city’s first driverless train when the Northwest Metro line opens to the public on May 26.
- Trains will initially run every four minutes once fully operational
- They’ve undergone more than 180,000 kilometres of testing
- The metro line will be extended from Chatswood to Bankstown by 2024
Once it reaches full operation, the line — from Tallawong Station in Rouse Hill and Chatswood — will run trains every four minutes during peak hour.
In its first six weeks of operation, trains will run every five minutes, in what Transport Minister Andrew Constance described as a “ramp up period”.
Mr Constance said trains from Chatswood to the city, on the existing network, would run every three minutes to avoid a bottleneck at Chatswood Station, where an additional 10,000 commuters will pass through during the morning peak.
He said 120 trains per hour currently travel to the city during the morning peak, increasing to 200 per hour once the metro line was up and running.
“That’s a phenomenal increase in terms of the way people will get around,” he said.
“People are going to get out of their cars and get onto trains and that’s what needs to happen in a global city such as Sydney.
“It is a game-changer for the city for centuries to come.”
Mr Constance said the driverless train had completed more than 180,000 kilometres of testing — the equivalent of circumnavigating the world more than four times.
However commuters should still allow for extra travel time and plan their trips early during the first few weeks of operation, he said.
The Northwest Metro line includes 13 stations — between Tallawong Station in Rouse Hill to Chatswood — and will be extended from Chatswood to Bankstown by 2024.
As an autonomous service, any delays on the existing Sydney network would not impact the metro line, even once it has been extended to the city, Mr Constance said.
He and Premier Berejiklian today rode on the line between Kellyville and Castle Hill with a group of Sydney Train employees and their children — many of whom were not even born when the project was first announced back in 2011.
Ms Berejiklian said she was “absolutely awestruck” by the metro, which would give commuters an insight into the vision she had for Sydney.
“I’m hoping in three weeks time when people get to use the service … they will be able to imagine what the future of Sydney will look like with the metro expanding to other parts of the system,” she said.