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The First Trams on Sydney's Long-Awaited Southeast Light Rail Could Run by the End of the Year

Transport for NSW are currently exploring opportunities to get trams running between Circular Quay and Randwick by December.
By Libby Curran
March 08, 2019
By Libby Curran
March 08, 2019

It's been a heck of a long time coming, but after multiple delays, it looks like you might be able to board a tram on Sydney's new CBD and southeast light rail by the end of the year.

While Transport for NSW is confident the project — which will see trams running from Circular Quay through Surry Hills to Randwick and Kingsford — will be completed by March 2020, it has today floated the possibility that part of the line could open by the end of this year. A spokesperson for Transport for NSW has 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.

The complete line out to Kingsford is on the cards for completion a few months later. That's slightly ahead of schedule from the May 2020 date we were given back in October — but still a year behind the original estimated completion date.

According to Transport for NSW, 100 percent of the concrete slab has now been laid, and all 14 of the new light rail stops are now up to the system installation and testing phase. Test trams have already been hitting the tracks between Moore Park and High Street, and there are plans to run them through Surry Hills and the CBD in the coming months — although barriers still remain in place along that section of the track.

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.

Tram operator Transdev has already started hunting for its first 100 new drivers, who'll kick off training in the middle of this year. As always, we'll keep you updated on any news related to the light rail — including further delays and opening dates.

Published on March 08, 2019 by Libby Curran
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