Driverless trains are headed for Sydney

The NSW budget handed down last week delivered significantly on transport, with over $6 billion pledged towards infrastructure projects.

Along with the light rail project previously mentioned on Wayfinding Forum, heavy rail was the big winner with funding confirmed along the north-west corridor of Sydney.

The NSW Government describes The North West Rail Link as a “fully-automated rapid transit system – an Australian-first incorporating driverless trains and high-tech customer safety and security measures.”

However reports in the Sydney Morning Herald have raised questions about the public perception of the safety of the ‘new’ technology. The transport minister refutes these claims pointing out that the technology has been in existence around the world for over 30 years. Criticism has also come from the Rail, Tram and Bus Union over the potential job impacts for their members.

Notwithstanding some opposition, with the $1.15 billion tunnelling contract awarded this week and the funding allocation confirmed by the state’s Treasurer, NSW commuters are going to have to get on board because the project is now full steam ahead.

Meanwhile, the final sections of the cycle lanes in Sydney have been put on hold as a result of the light rail development. This Sydney Morning Herald article has more details.

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