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The Sydney Trains Waratah (A and B sets) is a train that is currently operating on the Sydney Trains network in Sydney. All 78 Waratah A set trains are currently in service as of October 2016. They are replacing the CityRail L,R &S Sets from the 1970s.
In December 2016, an order of an additional 24 trains was placed and started entering service in 2018. These were the Series 2 Waratah B sets, which serve the same roles and features as the A sets, but with some additional upgraded features.
The trains consist of eight rigid car sets which is different from the previous 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. This means that guards operate from the rear carriage of the train instead of the centre and that commuters are able to walk through the entire train in case of an emergency. Nightshine Australia was selected to produce luminescent arrow signs line, which is affixed on the base of outer seats on the lower and upper decks to direct passengers the most appropriate route of exit. The trains include external CCTV cameras to assist guards, as it is harder to see the whole train on most curved platforms with the guard at the back. Carriage numbers on Waratahs use the D prefix for the driving cars, N for motor cars, and T for trailer cars.
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. The CCTV cameras are designed to withstand vibration and features technologies such as an in-built heater to prevent condensation and alarms to alert of removal or obstruction. 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. The Treadmaster TM8 flooring was also later fitted inside the Tangara T sets, in an interior refurbishment project to replace aging components and to improve safety and comfort of the T sets.
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. These announcements were changed slightly in 2013, after CityRail was rebranded to Sydney Trains. ‘Smart’ air-conditioning will automatically adjust to the outside temperature and the number of passengers on board.
The A set is the first passenger train in the world to use LED lamps for all lighting (except headlights). Moquette, a durable, vandal-resistant material first used in the OSCAR trains, Hunter Railcars, and later adopted in the refurbishments of both the Tangara and Endeavour railcars, is used to cover the train's seats.
- North Shore and Western Lines: Berowra to Emu Plains/Richmond via City
- Northern Line: Hornsby to Epping via Macquarie Park, City & Strathfield
- Airport & East Hills Lines: City Circle to Macarthur via Airport/Sydenham
- South Line: City Circle to Leppington via Granville
- Inner West Line: City Circle to Homebush/Parramatta via Strathfield
- Bankstown Line: City Circle to Lidcombe/Liverpool Via Bankstown
- Cumberland Line: Leppington to Schofields/Richmond (off peak only)
- Olympic Park Line: Central/Lidcombe to Olympic Park (Special events only)
A sets (along with Tangara T sets) will also likely be scheduled to operate on the new T9 Northern Line, commencing as of the April 2019 timetable update. This line will retain the existing T1 Northern Line stations from Epping to Central via Strathfield, but will also extend to Gordon via Chatswood. The extensions are being introduced as a semi-replacement for the former Epping-Chatswood Rail Link, which will be converted and integrated as part of the new Sydney Metro Northwest driverless train network running from Tallawong (Cudgegong Road) to Chatswood. The Northern Line changes will also allow passengers to link with Sydney Metro services at Epping and Chatswood stations.
As it is a suburban train, A sets do not run on NSW TrainLink lines. They do not run on some Sydney Trains lines because they can take out the overhead wiring systems by pulling too much current from them, with one notable case being the T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line, which currently only runs Tangara T sets (for all T4 suburban services) and OSCAR H sets (for South Coast services) as they are the only trains that can run on the line safely without power issues. This makes the T4 line the only major suburban line that A sets do not operate on, barring lines that only run 4 car services.
Very rarely, the Waratahs have operated on other lines, as the electrical systems can cope with one or two A sets. They do not run on the Cumberland and Carlingford lines, as 8 cars are not required for these services. Waratahs are also unable to fit the shorter platforms at Carlingford Line stations.
In December 2016, 192 new carriages (forming 24 new sets) were ordered for a new timetable planned in November 2017, This is to keep the S sets out of service, these are known as the B sets, the first B set was unveiled in March 2018 and entered service towards the end of October 2018, The first B set to Enter service was set B2 in September 2018, it operated Multiple Services on Sector 2. All B sets are expected to be in service by the end of 2019.
Further Growth Trains
In January 2019, a further 17 more B sets were ordered ahead of the NSW state election. This is a further upgrade from the Current B sets, These Trains are likely to feature rail fault detectors and many more features.
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,
- A3: D6303-N5303-N5503-T6503-T6603-N5603-N5403-D6403
- A78: D6378-N5378-N5578-T6578-T6678-N5678-N5478-D6478,
- A80: D6380-N5380-N5580-T6580-T6680-N5680-N5480-D6480
The two spare driving cars are D6379 and D6479. These were the first vehicles delivered, along with N5342 and N5442, and are part of the four car testing and development train. N5342 and N5442 were meant to be added to A42 when it arrived, but this was never done for various reasons. They now remain at Cardiff, having had most parts stripped from them for spares. All carriage numbers on Waratahs (not counting spares) have the last two digits correspond to the set number.
The first 40 sets were delivered to Sydney Trains with the NSW Government’s Waratah logo on each carriage. Following the formation of Sydney Trains in July 2013 these were replaced by the Sydney Trains logo and the sides of the driver's cab covered in orange vinyl. One set which was A02 had to be scrapped due to an acid spill on the boat when it was returning to China. This has since been replaced by A80.
The B set carriages are numbered:
(with nn representing the corresponding Set number)
B sets have the same appearance and functionality as A sets. The main differences for B sets are a slightly different livery, a new additional information screen in the vestibule area, and the internal passenger information screens being a digital display instead of an LED display.
On 14th October 2014, A29 was extensively damaged after it was trapped by rising floodwaters at Bardwell Park. The water came up to door level. As a result, many electrical components underneath the train were destroyed. The train was towed to Cardiff using a locomotive and repairs took several months to complete.
A22 was involved in a derailment on the 23rd October 2014 at Mulgrave. It was derailed by catch points after a SPAD, however it only had minor damage and soon returned to service.
On the 22nd January 2018, A42 failed to stop in time and crashed into the buffer stop at the end of platform 2 at Richmond station. According to the preliminary report, the train was travelling around 35km/h at the time of the crash. The resulting recovery operation took several days, as the couplers were damaged. Eventually, the train was transported in sections of 2-3 cars to Cardiff. Current rumours are that the train will be written off. In response to the incident, Sydney Trains has introduced a temporary speed restriction of 20 km/h on approach to Richmond station. The train stop attached to the signal controlling access to the platforms will also strike the train if it exceeds 25km/h. The accident report can be found here. A42 has been transferred to undergo repairs, with its damaged driving car to be replaced by spare car D6379. A42 was Spotted In March 2019 and is expected to re-enter service later in 2019.
- A42 is the first set to ever suffer major damage since the Class’s Debut.
- It’s also the first set to use one of the prototype carriages (D6379) as a permanent replacement carriage.
- The Prototype carriages were used as the test train, which were later used for spare carriages.
- The Waratahs have went through a few changes during their lifetime.
- Sydney Trains “hop” logo replaces NSW Government logo. A13 becomes the first set to use the new logo.
- The side on the front of the driving cars are repainted orange.
- 24 new Waratah sets, known as the Series 2 Waratah B sets start to be introduced. The B sets have a new livery to blend in with the Transport for NSW Franchise, and to distinguish them from the A sets. The front of the B sets are painted orange with the Sydney Trains logo.