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A 33-metre long screen is the centrepiece of the new $296 million Rail Operations Centre in Sydney, which Transport Minister Andrew Constance praised as being "bigger and better than NASA".
The government opened the 2000-square-metre facility in Alexandria in the city's south on Thursday, and it is expected to be fully staffed within the next few months.
"Bigger and better than NASA": The giant 33-metre screen inside Sydney Trains' new command centre.CREDITETER RAE
The gigantic display board has 42 million pixels and is larger than the one used by NASA at its Mission Control Centre in Houston in the US. The one in Sydney's main function is to monitor where each train on the rail network is in real time.
It also shows CCTV footage of rail stations, and how trains on the Metro lines are going - although the main control centre for the new rail network will remain in Rouse Hill.
The government said the facility will make train trips safer, more reliable and will give faster recovery times from unplanned disruptions.
Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins said he gave a tour to one of the top executives of Transport for London, who was "jealous" of the set-up.
"I believe we have the best rail operations centre potentially in the world": NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at the launch on Thursday. CREDITETER RAE
"We may be 164 years old, but here I feel we're up to date, we're modern and we're moving forward," he said.
Mr Collins rejected assertions about both the timeline and budget of the project, declaring, "As far as I'm concerned, we delivered as per program, and to budget".
The Herald reported last year that the building's opening had been plagued by delays, increased costs and "leadership and governance issues".
When asked if the building was meant to be staffed to full capacity by the end of 2018, Mr Collins said, "That's not correct."
Mr Constance and Ms Berejiklian tour the facility.CREDITETER RAE
When it is fully occupied, the main control room will be staffed by 100 people on shift 24 hours a day.
The other floors of the building will integrate staff involved with train planning, trackwork management, customer information and timetables.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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