Newcastle Light Rail will officially open on Monday February 18, 2019 after a free community day on Sunday February 17. Services are provided by Newcastle Transport (Keolis Downer)
This will provide a new frequent and reliable link between Newcastle Interchange and Newcastle Beach via Civic and Queens Wharf. The fleet is made up of six CAF Urbos 100 light rail vehicles, which are air-conditioned, fully accessible and high capacity.
Newcastle Light Rail will operate between 5am and 1am daily. Services run every 10 minutes through most of the day, early and late night service operating every half hour.
Customers changing from train or bus services will pay at most 20 cents for the tram journey using Opal. Other customers will pay at most $2.20.
The construction of the line has been marred in controversy. It has been constructed as a replacement for the old heavy rail line that travelled along a similar route through the Newcastle CBD. Many residents are unhappy given the cost and disruption to replace the old train line with the new light rail, which forces them to interchange at Wickham, just outside of the CBD. There has also been the loss of one of the main east-west traffic thoroughfares through Newcastle, which has caused major traffic issues during construction.