It may look like a Sydney train carriage full of sandbags has been trashed before it has even had the chance to enter service - but there is a very innocent explanation.

The 1,500 sandbags packed inside a light rail tram in Parramatta in the city's west were being used to simulate the equivalent weight of 400 passengers – a full tram.

The sandbags covered almost every inch of the the tram's floor and seats.

It's all part of a comprehensive testing regime to get Parramatta Light Rail ready to welcome passengers aboard within months.

'It helps our drivers test how these trams perform when full – rain, hail or shine,' NSW Transport Minister Jo Haylen explained. 

She shared another photo of the sandbags being ready to load onto the tram one by one and later reassured that the sand will have further uses down the track.

'When testing is complete, this sand won't go to waste. We'll use it to fill the tram's sand reserves, which it then uses to get grip on the tracks when it's raining,' Ms Haylen said.

But not everyone agreed it was a good way of seeing how a tram full of passengers would operate, though. 

'This would not test the full dynamics of what I think is called 'a live load',' one person commented. 

'People move like water would slosh around in a big fish tank sitting in the same carriage. 

'I'd suggest something like a large drum not filled right up (to the same weight as a person), to allow for sloshing and movement at least like someone standing and holding to a rail.'

Another believed that the centre of gravity with the sandbags was too low. 

'It's like comparing this on EV and implementing on similar weight petrol car. They are just not the same,' they added.

A third dismissed the notion of such testing and suggested it was a waste of taxpayers' money. 

'Who ever came up with that idea could only work for the government,' they wrote. 

Others saw the funny side

'You've heard of snakes on a plane and now beach on a train,' one quipped.

Another joked: 'Bring your plastic bucket and shovel and make some sand castles'.

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2024-06-25T10:51:50Z dg43tfdfdgfd