THERE was a tram-spotter, a school teacher, a breakfast radio host and a superhero.
The first tram out of Newcastle Interchange left at 5.05am on Monday, making its way to the Newcastle Beach stop before the return leg.
Mark Skinner made the trip over from Adelaide to be part of the historic weekend.
His lifelong love of trams has taken him all over the world to ride modern light rail networks.
He grew up catching Adelaide’s old tram network, which was similar to Newcastle’s expansive system that closed in 1950.
“It’s one of my earliest memories as a child,” he said.
“Everyone has a hobby; stamps or trains or just going to the footy. This particular thing has got me.”
Newcastle East school teacher Naomi Durie jumped on the tram heading back to Newcastle Interchange to transfer onto a Sydney train.
“We only recently moved to Newcastle East so we were really excited,” she said.
“My husband went and tried it yesterday and I'm using it today to get to Sydney.
“It’s great, it’s going to be good for our suburb.”
Newcastle breakfast radio host Simon Baggs caught the tram from the east end to the hit106.9 studio at Honeysuckle.
He said he was late to work and would normally be unable to catch the tram, but predicted he would be an avid user of light rail living in the city.
“I’ll definitely get it back [from work] each day,” he said.
“A day like yesterday showed people from Newcastle will embrace something that’s new.
“Standing on those stops yesterday made the town feel a bit more like a CBD – it’s been a bit of a ghost town for 18 months.”
David Ramplin, who was dressed in a superhero outfit, said he could not miss the first passenger service after taking such a keen interest in the light rail project.
“I just like wearing it, it gets a bit of attention,” he said of his attire.
“I chalked up eight [tram] runs yesterday in it.
“I took photos of the construction phase and I actually got six slices of the rail – one bit of rail to represent each of the six trams.”
Newcastle light rail runs at 10-minute intervals until 7pm each weeknight.
Trams then run at 15-minute intervals until the service concludes shortly before 1am.