The First Trams Are Now Running on the Surry Hills Section of the CBD and South East Light Rail
Night testing has started along Devonshire Street.
Over a year ago, the first tram took a trip on Sydney's much-talked-about light rail system, when nighttime testing started on a section of Alison Road in Randwick. Now, trams have started after-dark trials on another section of the rail: Surry Hills.
Last night, Tuesday, May 21, a tram took its first journey into Surry Hills, travelling through the Moore Park Tunnel, along Devonshire Street and all the way to Central Station.
As it is just testing at the moment, you unfortunately can't hop on the tram just yet. But, hopefully, it won't be too long till you can. While May 2020 is the projected completion date for the project — which has been delayed by a total of 14 months, so far — some parts of the rail could be up and running by the end of this year.
In March, a spokesperson for Transport for NSW said that it "continues to discuss" opportunities with ALTRAC, the consortium delivering the project, to bring an opening date forward to 2019. This would include opening part of the line from Circular Quay to Randwick as early as December. Once completed, the CBD and South East Light Rail will feature a 12.7-kilometre route from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kingsford, with 19 stops along the way.
While the early launch date seems unlikely (if the project's track record is anything to go by), this new testing is a good sign — as are the daytime trials, the next phase of testing, which kicked off in Randwick last month.
Overall, it's been quite the saga for the light rail project, which has faced legal stouches, cost blowouts and delays galore, due to everything from awry overhead wires and a discovery of thousands of Indigenous artefacts.
As always, we'll keep you updated on any news related to the light rail — including further delays and opening dates.
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