A tram has travelled through Western Sydney for the first time in 80 years, with on-track trials for Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 officially kicking off as the project powers forward.
The project is on track to service tens of thousands of commuters by mid-2024, providing a vital additional transport link between key precincts in Western Sydney.
During testing, a light rail vehicle moved slowly along the track from Dundas towards Carlingford, before trials ramp up in the new year through Parramatta CBD.
Major construction is now complete on all 16 light rail stops along the 12-kilometre alignment from Westmead to Carlingford, while the sevn substations that will power the network have been installed and energised.
The new state-of-the-art stabling and maintenance facility in Camellia is almost complete, housing the vehicles for upkeep and cleaning, and creating more than 150 jobs in Western Sydney.
All 13 new light rail vehicles are currently on site in the stabling yard and ready for testing, after the final 2 were delivered earlier this month.
A recruitment campaign is currently underway for more than 80 operational staff including drivers, network controllers and customer service personnel.
Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia.
Transport Minister Jo Haylen said the last time trams moved through Parramatta was in 1943.
“Now we’re finally seeing tram testing on this transformational project for Western Sydney,” she said.
“Stage 1 will mean key health precincts like Westmead and Cumberland are more accessible, students at Western Sydney Uni and local schools have more travel options, and businesses along Church St will enjoy increased foot traffic of around 16,000 people daily.
“I want to thank everyone who helped us get to this point, especially the light rail operators who worked overnight to test Parramatta’s new tram.
“200 people have been working day and night to build the stabling and maintenance facility, fit out and test the light rail stops, install overhead wiring, and deliver this city-shaping light rail network for our west.”