Looking to the future: former rail corridor ready for Newcastle’s next chapter

19 December 2016

Work to clear the former heavy rail corridor is now complete, making way for new opportunities and marking a key milestone in the revitalisation of Newcastle.

Revitalising Newcastle Program Director, Michael Cassel said this work brings us another step closer to uniting the city centre with Newcastle’s iconic working harbour.

“The rail line played a vital role in the industrial development of the region, connecting the land to the sea since the 1850s, carrying coal, timber, wheat and livestock over the years,” Mr Cassel said.

“But now we’re looking to the future, to Newcastle’s next chapter.

“We’re challenging the people of Newcastle to reimagine the city centre as a reinvigorated, vibrant place that supports a future with better employment choices, so Novocastrians can stay and raise their children here.

“Our next step is about taking the land available and making it work for the community, visitors and future employers, and we’ve recently asked for ideas for future uses of the Newcastle and Civic station precincts.”

Friday 9 December marked the official opening of new public space, the Market Street Lawn, with around 2,000 people enjoying a summer fiesta inspired event.

“Opening the Market Street Lawn gives the people of Newcastle a taste of what’s possible,” Mr Cassel said.

“We’re also integrating urban transformation with new, efficient transport to return Hunter Street to a thriving main street.

“We are improving the experience of being in and moving around this great city, and breathing new life into Newcastle.”

This work is being delivered as part of the NSW Government’s $510 million investment in Newcastle, designed to attract people back to the city centre and rekindle the vibrancy of Newcastle’s CBD.

Work to clear the former heavy rail corridor – facts and figures:

Over 300 people worked tirelessly to clear the former heavy rail corridor over the past six months, with around 8.8 kilometres of rail, 7,300 sleepers, 4 kilometres of overhead wiring, and 18,000 tonnes of ballast removed.

One hundred percent of the copper has been melted down and recycled locally at One Steel.

The material from the five pedestrian footbridges was recycled, including over

440 tonnes of concrete recycled at Boral Kooragang and almost 120 tonnes of steel recycled at Simsmetal Kooragang.

Specialist signalling equipment and over 7,500 tonnes of ballast will be reused elsewhere across the NSW train network.

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