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    Sydney light rail commuters not welcome in the inner west

    Branko Miletic

    According to various news reports, thanks to different gauges, station heights, wheel configurations and a number of other specific engineering features, Sydney's existing inner west light rail line and the new $2.1 billion line from the CBD city to Randwick won't allow the state government to easily introduce new routes across a broader public transport network.

    This lack of compatibility also means that passengers travelling from Dulwich Hill to Moore Park for large entertainment and sporting events for example, will have to switch to other trams at the new light rail line stop at Central.

    According to light rail expert Greg Sutherland, this lack of compatibility between the two light rail lines is because Transport for NSW did not have standards in place for all light rail lines during the planning phase of this project.

    "They are limiting themselves because they have applied different standards. The one standard should apply to every light rail track in Sydney,” Sutherland told Fairfax media.

    "They are completely stopping their ability to make better use of light rail technology in the future because they haven't developed appropriate standards," he said, adding that, NSW should have “embraced the Victorian standard.”

    For their part, Transport for NSW said that the new line would be a "linked but independent network [that has] allowed us to procure the best light rail vehicles and build the line with the most up-to-date advancements".

    "This is also best suited to the route conditions and service levels of the new network, without constraints from existing light rail infrastructure," it said.

    The transport authority contradicted earlier news reports that there would be any travel issues, saying that passengers would be able to "easily interchange" between the two light rail lines.

    Transport for NSW has previously said that the 67-metre long trams will have the capacity to carry up to 450 people each, with an average ability to move up to 13,500 commuters per hour.

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