CityRail A set

CityRail A set

Waratah set at Campbelltown.
Glass stair divider design
Stairs leading to the upper and lower decks. The stair divider features a glass panel with distinctive patterns.
Manufacturer Reliance Rail/Downer EDI
Built at Changchun Railway Vehicles, Changchun, China and Downer Rail, Newcastle, New South Wales
Constructed 2010 to 2014 (est.)
Entered service 2011
Number under construction 13
Number built 6
Number in service 3
Formation 8 cars
Capacity 896 seated including 16 wheelchair spaces[1]
Operator RailCorp as the product group CityRail
Depot(s) Auburn Maintanience Centre/Facility (AMF/AMC)
Line(s) served
Car body construction Stainless Steel
Train length 163.1 m
Car length 20.000 m (65 ft 7 in)
Width 3.035 m (9 ft 11 in)
Height 4.410 m (14 ft 6 in)
Maximum speed 130 km/h (81 mph)
Weight 404 t
Acceleration 1 m·s−2
Deceleration 1 m·s−2
Traction system Two converters per motor car utilising spread spectrum modulation. Four AC motors per car (Supplier: Hitachi, Japan)
Train heating Two independent cooling units per car: 38 kW cooling, 24 kW heating
Electric system(s) 1500 V DC
Braking system(s) Regenerative brake with blended electro-pneumatic wheel mounted disc brakes (Supplier: Knorr Bremse, Germany)
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

The CityRail A set or Waratah is a class of electric multiple unit operated by CityRail in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The train was named Waratah by the NSW Government after the flower of the same name, which is the state's floral emblem.[2]

The design is based on the M set and is the largest rolling stock order in Australia's history.[3] The 626 carriages will replace all 498 non-airconditioned L, R & S set carriages and provide additional capacity for passenger and network growth. Delivery commenced in July 2011 and is expected to end in 2014.


Public Private Partnership

The carriages are being delivered by a joint venture between Downer Rail and Hitachi for Reliance Rail under a Public Private Partnership (PPP).[4] As part of the PPP, Reliance Rail will also maintain the trains for a minimum of 30 years at a purpose built facility at Auburn.[3] At least 72 sets must be made available to RailCorp every day during the contract period.[3]

Reliance Rail is having difficulty refinancing its debt. Treasurer Mike Baird and the NSW Government are in talks with Reliance Rail to resolve the financial status of the project.[5]


Early concept design of the A set

The trains consist of eight car sets - a break from the previous standard Sydney practice of two four car sets, which are then coupled into eight car trains. The configuration is: trailer driving car + motor car + motor car + trailer car + trailer car + motor car + motor car + trailer driving car.[4] This means that guards operate from the rear of the train rather than the centre and that commuters are able to walk through the entire train in an emergency. Nightshine Australia was selected to produce luminescent arrow signs line, which are affixed on the base of outer seats on the lower and upper decks to direct passengers the most appropriate route of exit.[6] The trains include external CCTV cameras to assist guards.[7]

The train's guards' compartment is located in the last carriage

Inside, the train includes additional Emergency Help Points and CCTV cameras. Axis Communications was awarded the contract to install the train's extensive system of 98 CCTV cameras, which are linked together with Power over Ethernet and utilise Progressive scanning technology to allow capturing of events in clear high resolution, with no distortion in quick movement individual frames.[8] The CCTV cameras are designed to withstand vibration and features intricate technologies such as, an in-built heater to prevent condensation and alarms to alert of removal or obstruction.[9] The train flooring utilises Treadmaster TM8, made from a polymer-based material that is designed to be durable, vandal and graffiti resistant. They are also designed with safety in mind, being highly fire resistant with low smoke toxicity output.[10]

Improvements to the DVAs (Digital Voice Announcements) with differential pitch of the voice allow more natural sounding speech. All the stations included in the stopping pattern are also announced prior to or soon after departure from a terminus stop. ‘Smart’ air-conditioning will automatically adjust to the outside temperature and the number of passengers on board.[1] Accessibility features include 16 wheelchair spaces, portable wheelchair ramps in the end cars, red fabric on priority seating and additional handrails.[7]

The A set is the first passenger train in the world to use LED lamps for all lighting (except headlights).[11] Woollen Moquette Farbric, as the seating cover material was first used in the OSCAR trains, Hunter Railcars, and later adopted in the refurbishments of both the Tangara and Endeavour railcar. The same material also covers the seats of this train, being more durable and vandal proof.[11] Detailed design of the train was completed in July 2009.[12]

Construction and delivery

A02 at Central station for a passenger boarding test.

The joint venture between Downer EDI Rail and Hitachi was established to design, manufacture and commission the trains.[4] The stainless steel bodies are partially constructed by Changchun Railway Vehicles in China before being shipped to Downer EDI’s plant in the Newcastle suburb of Cardiff for final assembly, testing and commissioning.[4] The manufacturing facility at Cardiff received an upgrade of over $20 million to cater for the needs of the project.[4]

A four car pre-production test train was built to test the train sub-systems and compatibility with the Sydney suburban network.[4] This was intended to allow any issues with the train to be corrected before the production trains entered service.[4] The Millennium trains initially experienced poor reliability due to insufficient testing. The test train was expected to perform trial runs from mid 2009,[4] but began network testing in April 2010.[13] The pre-production train concluded testing in August of that year.[14] The first production set began network testing in August 2010[14] and by November 2010, three sets were undergoing testing.[15]

The first trains were scheduled to be introduced in late 2010, but a series of delays pushed back their introduction.[16][17] The first train intended for service (A3) was handed over to RailCorp for acceptance on 20 April 2011.[18] RailCorp had 20 business days to accept or reject the train, but a decision was postponed by two weeks to allow Downer EDI to correct further defects.[19] RailCorp rejected the train due to safety concerns and a number of defects.[20] The defects included; 'Milky' effect windscreens - apparent when under direct sunlight, no padding in the carriage ceilings, cables obstructing the driver's view, poor-quality steel welding as evident in the indents seen on some areas of the carriage exterior, gaps in the plastic molding, handrails not lining up with stairs and unreliable software - evident in the internal destination indicator system, as they suffer from a timeout during extended periods of train travelling in between wider distanced stations.[21]

Once the majority of the problems were resolved by Downer EDI, RailCorp decided to allow A3 to commence service, though operating under special conditions.[22] It entered service on the 1st of July, 2011,[23] operating its maiden run from Redfern to Macarthur via the City Circle and Airport. The train commenced service by operating two return services from the City to Macarthur via the Airport line during the off-peak period on weekdays, and all day on the Airport and East Hills and South lines on weekends. On 14 October, A3 became the first Waratah to operate during peak hours.[24]

There are currently four sets which have achieved "Practical Completion" and are available for service.[25] When a new set is delivered it becomes a standby train. Once the following set is delivered, the train operates during the off peak. It then moves into peak hour operation.[24]

In service

The Waratah trains will gradually replace the non-airconditioned L, R & S sets. The trains will be introduced to the Airport & East Hills line & South Line followed by the North Shore and Western, Northern, Bankstown and Inner West lines.[26]

The trains will be used on the:

  • Airport & East Hills Lines: City Circle to Macarthur via Airport/Sydenham
  • South Line: City Circle to Campbelltown via Granville
  • Inner West Line: City Circle to Liverpool/Bankstown via Regents Park
  • Olympic Park Line: Lidcombe to Olympic Park
  • North Shore and Western Lines: Berowra to Emu Plains / Richmond via City
  • Northern Line: Hornsby to Epping via Macquarie Park, City & Strathfield
  • Bankstown Line: City Circle to Lidcombe / Liverpool Via Bankstown

Current service

The trains currently run on the following lines:

  • Airport and East Hills Line
  • South Line
  • Inner West Line
  • Olympic Park Line


The 626 carriages will form 78 eight car sets (numbered A1 to A78) with 2 spare driving cars. Individual vehicles are numbered as follows:

A1 D6301 N5301 N5501 T6501 T6601 N5601 N5401 D6401

up to

A78 D6378 N5378 N5578 T6578 T6678 N5678 N5478 D6478

The two spare driving cars are D6379 and D6479. These were actually the first vehicles delivered, along with N5342 and N5442, and were part of the 4 car testing and development train.



  1. ^ a b CityRail Xpress Num. 93
  2. ^ How was the name of this train decided. RailCorp.
  3. ^ a b c Reliance Rail project page
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Rolling Stock Public Private Partnership For Rail Corporation of New South Wales. Downer EDI Rail.
  5. ^ Haynes, Rhys (August 15, 2011). "Waratah still long way off its peak". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 15, 2011. 
  6. ^ Our Customers & Projects. Nightshine
  7. ^ a b Sydney's new train. Reliance Rail.
  8. ^ Axis Press Release on the Waratah Trains. Axis Communications.
  9. ^ Axis Communications model cam_209mfdr info. Axis Communications cctv camera information.
  10. ^ [1].
  11. ^ a b Key customer features. CityRail.
  12. ^ Detailed Design Complete For Sydney's New Train. Reliance Rail/RailCorp.
  13. ^ Beginning Of Waratah Train Fleet Safety & Reliability Testing Program. Reliance Rail.
  14. ^ a b CityRail Xpress Num. 143
  15. ^ Downer Statement on Waratah Trains. Downer EDI. 3 November 2010.
  16. ^ "Waratah carriages delayed again". AAP. 3 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "Downer EDI takes $250mln charge on Waratah". AAP. 27 January 2011. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (24 May 2011). "Waratah trains stalled again". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  20. ^ Haynes, Rhys (3 June 2011). "Waratah trains a commuter threat". The Daily Telegraph. 
  21. ^ Henderson, Hartley (4 July 2011). "What if Australia had made the Waratah trains?". Manufacturers' Monthly. 
  22. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (15 June 2011). "Late Waratah trains held up over contract changes". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  23. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (2 July 2011). "Preening Waratah makes its entrance". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  24. ^ a b Where the Waratah train is operating
  25. ^ "Progress report". RailCorp. Retrieved November 2, 2011. 
  26. ^ CityRail Update Issue 12 - Bankstown and Inner West lines

External links

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