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Parramatta Light Rail enters final testing phase

Parramatta Light Rail is on the home stretch to service Western Sydney communities in the coming months, set to enter the final stage of testing and the line has officially been named the L4.

Final preparations for passenger services are now underway, with the project shifting into ‘trial running’ on Monday 8 July.

This will see a series of interactive drills undertaken that replicate potential incidents and recovery plans, such as systems breaking down or situations involving emergency services.

Trams will be running in both directions between Westmead and Carlingford, from 5am to 1am, testing the operator’s ability to deliver the final timetable and identifying any issues before passenger services commence.

The community is reminded to stop, listen and look around when driving, walking or riding near the tracks, and to follow new traffic signals, as trams run regularly through Parramatta for the first time in decades.

Premier Chris Minns said L4 will deliver more convenient and connected journeys for tens of thousands of people every day.

“This will make it easier for people to move between work, home, and key areas like the Westmead Health Precinct, Parramatta CBD and CommBank Stadium,” he said.

“The people of Western Sydney deserve this kind of public transport – and these final tests mean it’s looking like all systems go for the L4 in the coming months.”

This is a significant next step in the extensive testing program before approval is granted by the independent national rail safety regulator, permitting passengers to get on board.

While passenger information displays on light rail vehicles and platforms will be activated as part of testing, and doors will open and close, passengers will not be allowed to board.

The milestone means integration testing of the new infrastructure is now complete, which demonstrates the 45-metre-long light rail vehicles, tracks, 16 stops and systems are all working reliably along the 12-kilometre alignment.

Almost four kilometres of the light rail alignment uses wire-free technology. This includes at the Westmead terminus to minimise impacts of electrical wires and other tram infrastructure close to hospital buildings.

Minister for Transport Jo Haylen said From 2032 Westmead will be the station that has it all – connecting the T1 to the new L4 and the future Metro West.

“Parramatta Light Rail is getting closer and we’re putting the network to the ultimate test before commuters can jump on board the L4,” she said.

“Trial running will allow us to fine-tune the systems with scenario-based exercises to make sure we’ve covered all bases when it comes to safety.”

When operational, the light rail network will support 150 jobs in Western Sydney, based out of the now fully operational Stabling and Maintenance facility in Camellia. This includes operations and ground staff, engineers, maintenance workers and drivers. All 53 driver positions have now been filled and training is progressing well.

When the full Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 timetable launches, passengers will have access to reliable, modern and comfortable trams every 7.5 minutes in the peak between Westmead and Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD.

In the 2024-25 Budget, the NSW Government committed $2.1 billion to Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 to further connect growing communities in Western Sydney between Ermington, Melrose Park, Parramatta and Olympic Park.

This is part of the NSW Government’s plan to build better communities close to essential services they can rely on.

The L4 will ensure new housing in the region is well-connected to the Parramatta CBD, along with the Westmead healthcare precinct, schools and university campuses.

On July 1, the state-led rezoning for Parramatta’s Church Street North precinct, alongside the light rail, came into effect. It allows for up to 1,800 new homes to be built as part of a revitalisation of the precinct.

This helps transform an ageing area in need of renewal while tackling the housing crisis right on the doorstep of Sydney’s second largest CBD.

The new route joins the L1 Dulwich Hill Line, L2 Randwick Line and L3 Kingsford Line as part of the Sydney light rail network.