Updated 18 minutes ago
[img=340.2x227.2]http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/3726784-3x2-340x227.jpg[/img][b] Photo:[/b] Two groups are competing to operate the North West Rail Link, which will now be fully automated. (NSW Government)
[b]Related Story:[/b] North West Rail Link gets green light
The New South Wales Government has announced that trains on Sydney's North West Rail Link will be driverless.
When Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian revealed last year the rail line would be a rapid transit shuttle service she said there were no plans for driverless trains.
But Ms Berejiklian says she now believes fully automated trains are the best option.
She says full automation will allow trains to run every three minutes and they will carry more passengers.
Ms Berejiklian says the trains will be constantly monitored by a team of controllers and there will be platform screen doors to maintain safety and security.
"Fully automated systems have actually glass screen doors on every station platform. It means you cannot access the rail track unless there's a train there with the door open," she said.
Two consortia are competing for the operating contract, which is due to be awarded next year.
And Ms Berejiklian says tender documents for the contract will stipulate that the rail line must be fully-automated.
"That means the trains can be driverless and will be driverless, but it also means that we have the capacity to run more frequent trains in the future," she said.
"It means we have the capacity to move more people around on the system and obviously not only will this be a huge advantage for people living in the north-west but also for people who'll eventually use the line when we build the second harbour crossing."
But Rail, Train and Bus Union state secretary Alex Claassens has raised safety concerns about the move.
"If she obviously thinks a computer can stop a train when there are things on the track it's just ridiculous," Mr Claassens said.
"A computer can't do any of that stuff. Years ago they tried a test here with the monorail. They ran the monorail around without a person being up the front. It lasted for a couple of months."
Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Ken Morrison says it's high time such trains were introduced in Sydney.
"The big winners are going to be commuters," he said.
"We've seen countries around the world using automated train services for more than three decades. They work well."
Tunnel boring for the track will start next year
Desperate attempt by the union selling a false claim to the public conveniently ignoring the millions of people everyday who travel by driverless trains.