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The Long-Awaited South East Light Rail Will Officially Be Up and Running Before Christmas

The first trams with passengers will run between Circular Quay and Randwick on December 14 — and the first two days of travel will be free.
By Samantha Teague
December 05, 2019
By Samantha Teague
December 05, 2019

If you've wandered through Surry Hills or the CBD recently, you've probably seen quite a few passenger-less trams zooming around. And you've probably been wondering, like us, if they'll be taking passengers anytime soon. The answer is yes: next week.

It's been a heck of a long time coming, but after multiple delays, you'll finally be able to board a tram on Sydney's new light rail from Saturday, December 14. Finally. Finally. And you'll be able to do so for free, too. Trips on the L2 Randwick-Circular Quay line won't cost a cent during the opening weekend. Time to make the most of your tax dollars.

The first light rail services will start 👩🏽‍✈️ on Saturday December 14 on the L2 Randwick Line (Randwick to Circular...

Posted by Sydney Light Rail on Wednesday, 4 December 2019

To summarise the saga that is the CBD and South East Light Rail project: it was first announced back in 2012, construction began in 2015 and, since then, it's faced legal stouches, cost blowouts (to almost $3 billion) and delays galore, due to everything from awry overhead wires and a discovery of thousands of Indigenous artefacts. It was initially meant to be completed in early 2019, but that was pushed out to March 2020.

Now, Transport for NSW has announced the first commuter services will be up and running by December 14. Just in time for all that Christmas shopping and economy boosting, of course. The project's completion also tidily coincides with the scrapping of the lockout laws in the CBD on January 14, 2020. Cynics will say it's more than a coincidence.

After kicking off on 11am on Saturday, December 14, trams will run daily between 5am–1am. It'll also be a turn-up-and-go service with trams running every 4–8 minutes between Circular Quay and Central, and 8–12 minutes between Central and Randwick between 7am–7pm on week days (what's considered "peak" times).

It'll be just one of the lines, the L2 line from Circular Quay to Randwick, that'll be up and running, however, with the L3 Kingsford to Circular Quay stretch expected to open in March 2020.

It's not the first time trams have run through Sydney's CBD — just the first time in almost 60 years, with the old tram tracks ripped up back in 1961.

Commuter services on the L2 Randwick Line (Randwick–Circular Quay) of the CBD and South East Light Rail will start on Saturday, December 14, 2019.

Published on December 05, 2019 by Samantha Teague
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