Passenger Rail, Rolling stock & Rail Vehicle Design

First Newcastle tram arrives

Newcastle’s first light rail vehicle has arrived, prior to the beginning of testing along the new line next month.

The new tram departed from the Port of Santander, Spain, on a special roll-on-roll-off ship in July. The Urbos 100 – built by the manufacturer CAF – is the first of a fleet of six low-floor trams that will be arriving at the Port of Newcastle over the coming months. Each tram is 33-metres long, and able to carry 270 passengers.

The city’s light rail line, set to open in early 2019, will run between Wickham and Newcastle East via six stations.

Over half of the track installation work has been completed, with construction works expected to wrap up in the coming months.

The arrival of the first tram coincides with the beginning of a campaign to raise community safety awareness around the light rail line when testing begins.

“While testing will start gradually, with trams travelling slowly along the track at night, later this year trams will be travelling frequently through the city simulating timetabled running,”

Revitalising Newcastle program director Michael Cassel said.

“Light rail is by design quiet and less obtrusive than other forms of public transport, and with our trams weighing 45 tonnes and moving at 40 kilometres an hour, it’s especially important to be aware in the city centre.”

A schools safety programme is also in the process of being developed by Revitalising Newcastle to ensure students are aware of changes around the city centre.

“The most important thing we’ll be encouraging is that people follow signs and signals in the city centre,” Cassel said.

“We’ve added six new pedestrian crossings along the light rail route which will operate in tandem with trams to ensure people can cross the road safely.”

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