Tuesday 21st Jan, 2020

Significant strides made towards light rail completion

Works towards building an underground substation in High Cross Park in Randwick has been completed, trams are running along the CBD and South East Light Rail route and daytime testing is underway on the Kensington and Kingsford line.

With the light rail to open before Christmas, the government has now indicated it will also consider scrapping the 1:30am lockout laws in the CBD scrapped before the end of the year.

As such, the government is prepared to run more light rail services after dark, as part of its push to revive the night life once the lockout laws are relaxed.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said he would increase services “to meet the needs of the night-time economy if required”.

To celebrate the re-opening of the High Cross Park and to commemorate Remembrance Day, an artwork featuring large red poppies has been installed in the park.

When finalising designs of the CBD and South East Light Rail, the location of the Randwick Terminus (the end of the Randwick Line) that was initially planned for High Cross Park was relocated to High Street, enabling improved flow of traffic around the local area and saving the park.

Transport for NSW and Randwick Council negotiated to build a light rail substation underground instead, through innovative ventilation designs, which meant the park could be retained for the benefit of the community.

“I’m very pleased Council has been able to work cooperatively with Transport for NSW to relocate the originally proposed terminus from the park and to also underground a large substation beneath the park. This has preserved the space for the continued use of the community for future generations,” Randwick mayor Danny Said said.

During light rail construction, a World War II air raid shelter was uncovered during excavations at the park. The shelter formed a part of the defence system of air raid shelters and zig-zagging anti-aircraft trenches which were dug into open places such as parks. At the end of the war, the shelters and trenches were often backfilled, including this discovery at High Cross Park.

The final stages of work in High Cross Park involved energising the substation, this was completed last month and the park then handed back to Randwick Council.

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