A TRAM has travelled through Western Sydney for the first time in 80 years, with on-track testing for Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 officially kicking off on 18 December as the project powers forward, reaching a number of major milestones.
The NSW Government has ensured the project is on track to service tens of thousands of commuters by mid-2024, providing a vital additional transport link between key precincts in Western Sydney.
The community will notice a light rail vehicle moving slowly along the track from Dundas towards Carlingford this week, before testing ramps up in the new year through Parramatta CBD.
Major construction is now complete on all 16 light rail stops along the 12-kilometre alignment from Westmead to Carlingford, while the seven substations that will power the network have been installed and energised.
The new state-of-the-art Stabling and Maintenance Facility in Camellia is almost complete, housing the vehicles for upkeep and cleaning, and creating more than 150 jobs in Western Sydney.
All thirteen new light rail vehicles are currently on site in the stabling yard and ready for testing, after the final two were delivered earlier this month.
A recruitment campaign is currently underway for more than 80 operational staff including drivers, network controllers and customer service personnel.
Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia.
For more information, visit the Parramatta Light Rail website: www.parramattalightrail.nsw.gov.au.
Transport Minister Jo Haylen said: “Parramatta Light Rail is progressing, with major milestones giving locals and visitors an exciting glimpse of what is to come: more safe, reliable and connected public transport in Western Sydney.”
“The last time trams moved through Parramatta was in 1943. Now we’re finally seeing tram testing on this transformational project for Western Sydney.”
“Stage 1 will mean key health precincts like Westmead and Cumberland are more accessible, students at Western Sydney Uni and local schools have more travel options, and businesses along Church St will enjoy increased foot traffic of around 16,000 people daily.”
“I want to thank everyone who helped us get to this point, especially the light rail operators who worked overnight to test Parramatta’s new tram.
“200 people have been working day and night to build the Stabling and Maintenance Facility, fit out and test the light rail stops, install overhead wiring, and deliver this city-shaping light rail network for our west.”
Member for Parramatta Donna Davis said: “This is a momentous day for Parramatta as the first light rail vehicle begins testing on the tracks.
“Our government is delivering a vital public transport link that is essential to the support Parramatta’s growth, and work is underway to extend Parramatta light rail even further.
“Trams are testing along the old Carlingford rail line corridor first, before testing in Parramatta’s CBD in the first half of next year. I urge pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to be alert as light rail vehicles commence testing along the line.”