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(AUS) Waratah train finally on track

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From the ABC:

Waratah train finally on track


Sydney rail commuters have finally had a chance to board one of the city's new, much-delayed Waratah trains.


The fleet of air conditioned trains was meant to be ready more than a year ago.


Manufacturer Downer EDI has been plagued with problems, including software defects and the discovery of asbestos at its factory in the Newcastle suburb of Cardiff.


This morning passengers were allowed on board one of the trains for the first time at Redfern.


The eight-car train was then scheduled to make its way through the city to Circular Quay before continuing on to Macarthur, in the city's south-west.


It is part of the biggest train order in Australian history, with more than 600 carriages to be produced over 30 years.


Each train can carry up to 900 passengers.


The New South Wales Government has been highly critical of the project.


Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says she is pleased a train is finally in service but there is still a long way to go.


"This is a big project with big problems. We're taking a step at a time to make sure everything is put right," Ms Berejiklian said.


"But we also want to emphasis that this problem we inherited from the Labor Party. They signed the contract in 2006.


"The problems are ongoing and we're taking (it) a step at a time."


Train drivers have given the fleet's newest addition the thumbs up though.


Bob Newham from the Rail, Tram and Bus Union says the Waratah offers a smooth ride.


"It's very nice, it's very quiet, very smooth, very modern piece of equipment, very nice to drive. I had a drive of it as part of the testing regime," Mr Newham said.


"Cab layout and control design is based on the Millennium train and the later version of that, the Oscar train. It's similar to both of those."


The first run apprantly went well.

For the time being A3 will be doing these runs:


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900 passengers yikes , thats a beast of a train.


Not necessarily; the trains are bilevels and that capacity would be about the same as an ALP46 pulling seven multilevels. Still, it's the first bilevel EMU design I've seen aside from the TGV Duplex and the Metra Highliners.

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