Engineering, Passenger Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation

Green light for Canberra light rail’s Saturday opening

Canberra’s light rail line is ready for its official opening on Saturday, April 20, after accreditation was secured from all necessary federal and independent certifiers this week.

Canberra Metro on Thursday hosted a community ‘first loop’ ahead of the official community day opening over Easter weekend. According to a Canberra Times the event was only confirmed this week, when final certification was granted.

The operator needed to secure accreditation from the technical regulator, an independent certifier, and the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator ahead of the opening.

ACT transport minister Meegan Fitzharris called the opening of light rail “the biggest change to public transport since our city was founded”.

Canberra Metro chief executive Glenn Stockton called the opening “historic,” and spoke about the number of businesses engaged during the three-year construction.

“More than 300 local businesses were engaged as contractors to the project and 70 per cent of the workforce were from the Canberra region,” Stockton said.

He also noted the impact the construction had had on local residents and businesses.

“I extend my most sincere thanks to the people of Canberra and local businesses for their patience and understanding as construction of this major project progressed,” he said. “Infrastructure development of this magnitude and complexity inevitably does impact people and communities. We recognise this and appreciate the community’s support throughout the construction period.”

The first stage of a planned wider network, Canberra Light Rail is a 12-kilometre line connecting Civic, Canberra’s city centre, with the northern town centre of Gungahlin. It includes 13 stops, and will be serviced by a fleet of 14 light rail vehicles.

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