The CBD and South East Light Rail has reached an exciting new milestone, with the installation of overhead wires and the introduction of testing and commissioning of electrical systems and vehicles.

Before we can operate a new light rail system to a timetable and with passengers on board, we need to ensure that the system is fully functional and safe for public use. This takes many months prior to the operation of the first light rail service.

Testing and commissioning will be undertaken in sections across the alignment, before driver training and the full line is tested prior to operation in 2019.

Testing and commissioning will start from October 2017, initially around Moore Park and Randwick with overhead wiring being erected in the precinct.

The testing and commissioning process takes place in three stages:

Installation of overhead wires

Once poles are installed, a specialised crew will begin installing cantilevers, cross spans and supports to each pole that will support the overhead wires (also known as catenary) along the alignment. The crew will then pull lengths of the overhead wire and attach from pole to pole before performing final adjustments and testing.

Energisation of overhead wires

When the overhead wires are in place and testing is complete, they will be energised. New signs will be installed along live sections, warning that the area is now energised. Contact with wires must be avoided at all times.

Light rail vehicle testing

When final safety checks are complete on the light rail systems, vehicle testing will begin. The first movements will be within the Randwick Stabling Yard, and along Alison Road and Anzac Parade. Vehicle testing will initially be carried out at low speed, gradually increasing as tests are verified. New signage and traffic signals will be in place and we’ll be providing more information to the community about safety around the new light rail vehicles when testing begins.