Visit by CRRC trackless tram manufacturer

19 May 2023

The City of Stirling’s Trackless Tram project reached an exciting milestone this month, with the City hosting a delegation of senior officials from Chinese manufacturer CRRC, Infrastructure Technology Solutions Group (ITSG) and Curtin University to discuss a trial of Trackless Trams in Perth planned for this October.

The visit included a tour of the proposed Trackless Tram route from Glendalough Train Station to Scarborough Beach and a trip to the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct (AARP) in Neerabup where the Trackless Tram vehicle will be tested in partnership with Development WA.

Mayor Mark Irwin said the meeting was an important step to see how the trial will work and understand what will need to be completed prior to the Trackless Tram arriving in Perth.

“The Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct provides a unique opportunity to test the Trackless Tram in one of the biggest facilities of its kind in the world. Together with experts from Curtin University, and our other partners in the trial, we will be able to see this vehicle in action and gather key information for our business case,” he said.

“We have a big, bold vision for the Stirling City Centre and the Scarborough Beach Road Activity Corridor and the CRRC trackless tram is the last piece of the puzzle to help make this a reality. We really appreciate CRRC and ITSG for their efforts so that we can see this innovative technology on the ground here in the City of Stirling.”

Mr Dingnan Li, Chairman of CRRC Nanjing presented the City with a model of CRRC’s second-generation Digital Rapid Transit (DRT) trackless tram and an update on new technology advancements.

The second-generation vehicle will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell instead of a battery, meaning the environmental benefits of the Trackless Tram would be maintained without the need to recharge at stations along the route.

CRRC representatives were also able to confirm that pre-testing of the tram in China would mean the vehicle would arrive in Perth compliant with Australian roads and ready for testing at the AARP facilities by October.

Mayor Mark Irwin was also appreciative of the support from all partners, including the Australian Government’s $2 million commitment to deliver the City of Stirling’s Trackless Tram Business Case, with $135,000 of those funds authorised to be used to support the Australian-first trial.

“We are confident that the tests conducted here in Perth – as well as the testing to Australian standards which will occur over the next few months in China – will strengthen the City’s Trackless Tram Business Case and bring us one step closer to implementing this innovative and sustainable public transport technology from Glendalough Train Station to Scarborough Beach.

“Together with the $258 million jointly invested in the Stephenson Avenue Extension and Stirling Bus Interchange projects by the Australian and Western Australian Governments, the City is unlocking strategic land, investing in the right infrastructure and building the heart of a second CBD for Perth.”

Project background 

The concept of providing mid-tier transport such as Trackless Tram technology for this corridor is an integral part of the Herdsman Glendalough Project, Stirling City Centre Project, Scarborough Beach Road West Project, the Scarborough Redevelopment Area and the Trackless Tram Business Case is funded by the Australian Government.

CRRC is the world’s largest manufacturer of rail transit equipment and will be transporting one of their new generation digital transit vehicles to Perth for the trial. The Sustainable Built Environment Centre from Curtin University will be conducting the trial in partnership with the City of Stirling, Development WA, the Australian Heavy Vehicle Regulator and engineering representatives from Keolis Downer, Stantec and ARUP.

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