WITH Newcastle’s light rail officially opening to the public, it is a good time to take a look at what went into building the new line.
Timeline of construction:
Sept 17 – Construction starts near Civic
Jan 18 – Construction starts east of Civic
Feb 18 – Rest of route under construction
July 18 – Opened through to Darby Street
September 18 – Whole route reopened to traffic and testing begins
February 2019 – Line officially opens
Light Rail Project:
- More than 3,000 individuals worked on site during construction
- 14,000 square metres of new CBD paving, equivalent of 2 football fields
- 2.7 kilometres in length, running from Newcastle Interchange at Wickham to Newcastle Beach
- Almost 6,000 metres of track
- Stops are located at Newcastle Interchange, Honeysuckle (near Hunter Street TAFE), Civic, Crown Street, Queens Wharf and Newcastle Beach
Using an Opal card, an adult fare is $2.20 while concessions, pensioners etc costs $1.10. This is a flat fare and is the same as distanced-based bus fares (less than 3km is $2.20).
If connecting via other forms of transport, such as train, ferry or bus, the fare is just 20 cents for adults or 10 cents for concession card holders. Cash tickets are available, but slightly more expensive.
Using Opal has other benefits too. Commuters who makes multiple trips within one hour on the light rail are only charged the single fare. Commuters who have made eight trips with their Opal card in a week, get the rest of their travel at half price.
Light rail vehicles:
- ‘Urbos 100’ model with more than 250 person maximum capacity
- Regenerative braking to allow for energy to be transferred back to the onboard energy storage system
- Length of 33 metres
- Weight of 45 tonnes empty
- First trams with surfboard racks
- A new fleet of light rail vehicles with air conditioning and low floor design for enhanced accessibility (max of 3cm level above the platform when tram is empty)
- Deployable wheelchair ramp and wheelchair parking spaces
- Can travel at up to 70kmh, however will abide by the 40kmh speed limit along the route
- Newcastle light rail's first passenger service tram leaves Newcastle Interchange bound for Newcastle Beach
- Passengers have their say on Newcastle's new light rail
- Commuters give their thoughts on Newcastle light rail, but will they use it?
- How our light rail stacks up against the Gold Coast
- Recruits move into driver’s seat on new trams
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