Newcastle Light Rail

Newcastle Light Rail is a key part of Revitalising Newcastle and will provide a frequent and reliable travel option throughout the city centre, connect key activity precincts, reinvigorate Hunter and Scott streets, and open up great urban renewal opportunities.

Useful links

Key features

  • 2.7 kilometres in length, running from Newcastle Interchange at Wickham to Pacific Park in Newcastle East, just 200 metres from Newcastle Beach
  • Light rail will follow the old rail corridor for approximately one-third of the route before moving onto Hunter and Scott streets
  • Stops will be located at Newcastle Interchange, Honeysuckle (near Hunter Street TAFE), Civic, Crown Street, Market Street and Pacific Park
  • High frequency turn-up-and-go services every 7.5 minutes during peak times
  • Capacity to transport 1,200 people per hour
  • A new fleet of light rail vehicles with air conditioning and an accessible low-floor design.


The light rail system will contribute to the continued economic growth of the city by bringing people back to the city centre, delivering customers directly to the door of businesses, and linking great new public spaces and city precincts. It will form the centrepiece of a fully integrated, vastly improved public transport network to be delivered by Newcastle Transport, which will cater for the transport demand for years to come.

Frequent and reliable services. Every 7.5 minutes during peak hour

Stimulates urban revitalisation and delivers customers to the door

Can carry the equivalent of three full buses

Energy-efficient and sustainable form of transport

Part of an integrated transport solution

Laying the foundation for future light rail network

Before and after

Project status

The Newcastle Light Rail project was approved in August 2016 and construction will start in mid-2017. Downer EDI  is the Managing Contractor building light rail in Newcastle. Site and service investigations for the project are well underway and the project is on track to see customers using light rail services in 2019.

Scoping and investigation

Review of Environmental Factors

Project approval

Construction contract awarded

Detailed design

Construction underway

Light rail service operational

Current work

To help prepare for construction of Newcastle Light Rail, some initial work is taking place over the coming months in the city centre:

Property condition surveys

Property condition surveys are routinely offered on major infrastructure projects to record the condition of existing buildings before construction gets underway. We will be contacting eligible property owners and tenants along the Newcastle Light Rail route over the coming months to offer a property condition survey. For more information, please see the property condition survey fact sheet.

Site investigations and early work

To help prepare for construction of Newcastle Light Rail, Transport for NSW has engaged Downer EDI, as managing contractor for light rail, to carry out site investigations and early work in Newcastle, Newcastle East and Newcastle West.


Work on the former rail corridor

Preparation work has started for the new light rail stabling and maintenance facility near the former Wickham Station. Read more in the May 2017 Newcastle West construction update.

To help prepare for construction of Newcastle Light Rail, Transport for NSW engaged Downer to remove redundant infrastructure including ballast, signalling equipment and pedestrian footbridges at Argyle Street, Perkins Street, Wolfe Street and the Queens Wharf Bridge. Work to clear the rail corridor is complete.


Additional work

Following close consultation with the Newcastle community and other stakeholders, the NSW Government has committed to some additional work that will complement the introduction of light rail in the city centre:

Associated road upgrades

Transport for NSW is working closely with Newcastle City Council and Roads and Maritime Services to develop a number of traffic improvements along and around the light rail route. These improvements are designed to complement the introduction of light rail, and support transport movements within Newcastle’s city centre.

The proposal includes the reconfiguration of key intersections, upgrades to surrounding roads, and changes to inner city bus and parking arrangements to allow traffic to continue to move efficiently when light rail is complete. The proposed road upgrades will be located within the existing road corridors surrounding Stewart Avenue, Hannell Street, Parry Street, Hunter Street, King Street, Steel Street, and Darby Street.

The supplementary REF was on public display from Monday 21 November to Monday 19 December 2016. Community feedback on the proposal was invited during this time. You can view the REF in the library.

Cycleway strategy

During the Newcastle Light Rail REF public display period the community said cycleways and pedestrian footpaths were an important part of the city’s integrated transport future. The Cycleway Strategy was a key commitment made by Transport for NSW in response to feedback provided in the REF process, with a specific commitment made in the Light Rail submissions report in August 2016. 

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