Since Thursday 28 October, services on the L1 Inner West Light Rail line have been suspended due to cracking found in all 12 of the trams that service the line. This service suspension is indefinite and there is no timeline towards the resumption of services.
It is understood that significant cracks were discovered in the bogey boxes (otherwise known as the wheel arches) of all 12 trams in the Inner West fleet, in addition to more minor cracking throughout other parts of the trams. It has been rumored that the cracks may have arisen due to the choice of fixed bogey trams for the Inner West line, as overseas examples have shown bogey box cracking on fixed boey trams that operate on tram lines with significant curves such as the L1 line in Sydney.
The Office of Transport Safety is conducting an investigation into the cracks. Transport Minister Rob Stokes said it was “obviously a concern” when route maintenance had uncovered a problem with the entire inner west tram fleet. “We will hold Transdev to their contractual obligations,” he said of the private operator of the line.
Transport for NSW secretary Rob Sharp said that trams will not be rushed back into service. “It’s not going to be a couple of days or a week or two – it’s going to be extended. We’d be certainly looking at a month or more,” Mr Sharp said. “Safety is first, and we do need the technical experts to complete their reviews over the next week to actually land on a specific conclusion.”
State Transit is operating a replacement bus service. There are two routes that operate between 6am and 11pm daily. The buses are opal enabled but only charge half fares.
- Route 498 – Central Railway Colonnade to The Star (operates every 15 minutes )
- Route 499 – Central Railway Colonnade to Dulwich Hill (operates every 10-12 minutes)