To those outside of the Sydney bubble this may either be totally irrelevant to you or a great source of amusement. On Monday stage one of the Sydney Metro opened, this project has literally been the largest public infrastructure project undertaken in the country.
The first stage involves driverless trains running from Sydney’s North West to Chatswood. A four-kilometre elevated viaduct was built that crosses Windsor Rd via an enormous 270-metre cable-stayed bridge. When this part of the fully automated line reaches Bella Vista, twin 15-kilometre tunnels take over for the journey all the way to Chatswood. These are the longest ever train tunnels built in Australia.
The Sydney Metro is separate to Sydney Trains, aside from being driverless it is operated on an entirely different system. The two are not interchangeable with the Metro trains being a single deck configuration as opposed to the mainstream double decker sets.
The system operates on a show up and go basis, meaning no timetables. Eventually the system will allegedly be able to accommodate trains every four minutes or 15 trains an hour. Along the way eight new stations have been built with 4000 new commuter car parking spaces.
I live in Sydney’s North West and I can tell you this really is a bonanza for the locals. Growth in this area has been astronomical in recent years. Since I moved in back in 2010, the beautiful green buffer that has always separated this area from the concrete jungle that is Sydney has started to be eaten away at by urban development. I’m of course one of those people who has made the move.
I tried the Sydney Metro on the free open day on the Sunday just gone, a day which saw almost 200,000 people have a crack. It was marvellous and unlike anything I’ve seen in this country before.
But of course, there has been some problems. We’ve had trains overshooting platforms, the communication centre lost track of one train meaning an actual driver had to take over. Also, people are reporting random announcements while the train is moving, such as a warning the doors are about to open.
There’s also been fairly inconsistent running times, the every 4-minute pledge was never going to happen immediately. But it is important commuters have some idea of what time their lift is arriving because many then rely on a bus at their destination which is running to a strict timetable.
But frankly I’m sick of the whinging. We are talking about a multi-billion-dollar project that has been delivered well and truly on time and is currently only four days old. Those on Twitter, which is the usual forum for narks, are really showing their entitled bent more than even before.
I’ve seen people complain about waiting for just a handful of minutes, having to stand up and having to get off and change at Chatswood for the mainline into the city. For God’s sake people, can we just all drop off. The project that will eventually snake its way under the harbour and onwards to Parramatta requires some leeway. It’s still early days. Also has any of these complainants ever caught a 30-year-old Sydney train. The Metro system makes Sydney Trains look like they were designed during the Jurassic period.
So, people calm down, this is hardly new technology these types of systems are in place all over the world. I thought we were a nation of hard working, positive types. It just seems to me that increasingly many people are becoming unpleasant little complainers, just for the sake of it.