Revitalisation of Newcastle CBD underway with truncation to begin on Boxing Day
3 July 2014
Minister for Transport and Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian today announced work is progressing to revitalise Newcastle’s CBD and deliver light rail, with trains to stop operating beyond Wickham from Boxing Day this year.
Ms Berejiklian said truncating the heavy rail line, creating a fully accessible transport interchange at Wickham and introducing light rail will unlock Newcastle’s potential – helping bring jobs, residents and visitors into the city centre.
“The closure of the heavy rail line past Wickham on 26 December will allow work to begin on revitalising Newcastle – with the rail line no longer forming a barrier and dividing the city from one of its greatest assets - the waterfront,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Importantly, once the heavy rail line is truncated, work will start on construction of a major new interchange at Wickham for customers to connect with trains, light rail, buses and taxis.
“Up to 11 new pedestrian and road crossings will be delivered as part of this project – opening up the city centre to the foreshore. Truncation also means existing railway level crossings between Wickham and the beach will effectively be permanently open from Boxing Day onwards.”
Ms Berejiklian said a key part of this work is making sure there is a comprehensive bus plan in place to move customers in the interim while light rail is under construction.
“I will have more details about these bus arrangements in the coming months to ensure a seamless interchange for customers,” she said.
“I want to assure customers that I will be doing everything possible to make sure the interim transport arrangements are reliable, convenient and quick for public transport customers.”
From 26 December 2014:
- Between 26 December 2014 and 4 January 2015, all Newcastle trains will terminate at Broadmeadow so improvements can be made to Hamilton Station.
- From 5 January 2015 trains will terminate at Hamilton and Broadmeadow – with more details on the service plan to be released.
- Frequent shuttle buses will connect both Broadmeadow and Hamilton stations with Newcastle.
- The new transport interchange at Wickham will be completed at the end of 2016 and trains will then start and finish at the new interchange.
- Customers will be able to catch buses between the new transport interchange and the beach until light rail services start.
Ms Berejiklian said for too long Newcastle has been hamstrung by indecision, and local residents and businesses have been let down by political lip-service from Labor.
“Light rail is a popular mode of transport around the world because it is modern, reliable and boosts urban renewal and economic development,” she said.
“Light rail is being expanded in Sydney and around the world - why should the Hunter expect any less?
“This Government is getting on with the job of delivering real improvements and results for the people of the Hunter.” Ms Berejiklian also announced a tender has been released to prepare and carry out a detailed environmental assessment for the Newcastle light rail project.
As previously announced, a Review of Environmental Factors is also scheduled to start in July for the Wickham interchange, giving locals a chance to give their feedback on the design and construction.