Australia's Newcastle Light Rail to become wire-free rail system


The Government of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has announced the removal of overhead wires from the planned light rail system at Newcastle as part of Newcastle's revitalisation programme.

Newcastle Light Rail vehicles are now set to feature on-board energy storage to remove the ‘spider-web’ of overhead wires.

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said: “This is a game changer for the urban amenity and sustainability of Newcastle Light Rail, which has been the impetus for the complete revitalisation of the city.

 “Implementing world class light rail technology aligns with our plans for Newcastle to become a major university town and a city known for cutting-edge research and innovation.

“Removing the overhead wires will preserve the aesthetics of Newcastle’s heritage architecture and its unique character as light rail breathes new life into the city centre.”

"Implementing world class light rail technology aligns with our plans for Newcastle to become a major university town and a city known for cutting-edge innovation."

NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts said that the suite of urban amenity upgrades will connect light rail customers with new activity precincts such as Darby Plaza and Civic Link.

Other upgrades planned across the Newcastle area include more open space for outdoor dining, while street trees are also scheduled to be delivered along with the light rail system in a bid to minimise disruption.

Construction of the rail system is expected to commence this year.


Image: Artist impression of Newcastle Light Rail Market Street. Photo: courtesy of NSW Government.