As with all modes of public transport, there are safety issues to be aware of with light rail. We take light rail safety very seriously and have put information and measures in place to protect the public at all times.
While light rail poses a relatively low risk to users, care must be taken at all times on platforms, on trams, and when crossing the rail corridor. When on the platform, passengers must stand behind the tactile pavers on the ground and not step beyond them until the tram has come to a complete stop and the doors have opened.
Once on the tram, passengers should take a seat whenever possible and always hold on – the tram can stop suddenly for vehicles or pedestrians, and it is easy for passengers to lose their footing. Once they reach their destination, passengers must make sure to hold on until the tram has come to a complete stop and the doors have opened to the platform.
The core safety risks of light rail relate to the rail corridor and the overhead lines that power the trams. While trams do not move at high speeds, they are large, heavy vehicles and deceptively quiet in motion which can pose a risk to pedestrians with hearing issues or who simply aren’t paying attention.
Additionally, pedestrians and other road users need to take care when crossing the lines as trams cannot swerve to avoid obstacles and take a longer distance to come to a stop compared to regular road traffic, increasing the risk of collision with any person, vehicle or object that is on the tracks.
The overhead lines that provide power to the trams must be treated as live at all times. They carry 750V of DC electricity and can electrocute any individual or object that comes into contact with them. The overhead lines are part of an interconnected system that is vulnerable to failure if it is damaged, potentially impacting thousands of commuters.
Care must be taken when conducting any work on or around light rail lines. To work on or near the Sydney Light Rail, the Transdev Sydney website outlines the process to be followed, which includes applying for and receiving a valid Transdev Sydney Work Access Permit. An access permit process system is also required for all works inside the Danger Zone.
Before attempting to carry out any works on or around the Sydney Light Rail, all parties must obtain a valid Work Access Permit from Transdev Sydney and follow the conditions detailed on the permit, which include calling the Operations Control Centre before work commences each day.
All workers need to be aware of moving trams and ensure that no contact is made, either by workers or their equipment, with the high voltage overhead rails, which should be treated as live at all times. Workers must remain at least 1.25 metres from the outer running rail unless it is otherwise agreed and stated in their permit.
All employers and organisations must understand the safety requirements for all of those working under the permit and ensure that all workers wear the required Personal Protection Equipment at all times.
If you have any safety questions, please contact our team.