Transport backflips on swapping CBD light rail and cracked Inner West fleet
The Sydney CBD and eastern suburbs trams are being tested to run on the Central to Dulwich Hill line, but the possible solution comes with its own challenges.
The newer vehicles are being tested between Central and Paddy’s Markets, while the older vehicles remain inoperable due to extensive cracking.
2GB senior reporter Clinton Maynard urged caution, telling Jim Wilson the decision indicates the cracking problem is likely to take longer to fix than first hoped.
“From day one, Rob Stokes … has been asked whether we can use the other trams in Sydney on the [Inner West] line … and they’ve always said ‘we don’t want to do that’.
“Well, they’ve done a backflip today.”
Differences between the two vehicle fleets mean the wheels on the new trams need to be replaced to fit the wider line.
“Whether it’s a long term solution remains to be seen.”
Press PLAY below to hear the details
Transport Minister Rob Stokes clarified to Jim the CBD trams do currently run to Lilyfield, albeit without passengers.
The backflip came as a result of “a lot of reflection”, having been eager to avoid Band-aid solutions.
“These companies turn out thousands of trams.
“We would love [a] local manufacturer, but we simply don’t have enough demand.
“We can’t give work to Australian firms if they don’t bid for it.”
Asked why the two sets of Sydney trams were bought from different manufacturers in Spain and France, Mr Stokes said “I’ve got my own thoughts about it … but I’m focused on fixing it.”
Press PLAY below to hear the Transport Minister’s response in full