The Wickham transport interchange in Newcastle, Australia, aims to deliver a transport hub connecting passengers with trains, the upcoming Newcastle Light Rail, buses and taxis.

Opened in October 2017, the transport interchange serves New South Wales (NSW) TrainLink’s Central Coast & Newcastle Line and Hunter Line. It allows passengers to easily access intermodal transport services, and permits the future development of Newcastle Light Rail and enhances the links between the city centre and the waterfront.

The interchange also stimulates development and economic growth in the city.

Wickham transport interchange project details

In early 2014, the NSW Government unveiled plans to construct a new transport interchange in Wickham. The project is part of the $400m Newcastle Urban Renewal and Transport programme.

Following project planning approval in November 2014, a review of environmental factors (REF) to study the project’s potential effects was completed in July 2014.

Design of the transport interchange was unveiled in July 2015. In September 2015, the store building next to the proposed interchange site was purchased by the state government, creating additional space for buses, taxi stands, and car parking.

The transport interchange project involved the truncation of the heavy rail line west of Stewart Avenue, construction of a transport interchange, and a new train stabling facility to the east of Hamilton Station.

It also included the removal of Stewart Avenue boom gates, the permanent shutdown of the Railway Street level crossing, and a pedestrian bridge over the rail corridor near Railway Street.

New platforms and a concourse were constructed, as well as Opal electronic ticketing systems, taxi spaces, a kiss-and-ride facility, and new signalling, communication and lighting systems.

Other work included modifications to existing roads, bridges and signalling infrastructure, as well as installation of a CCTV surveillance system and construction of crew and staff facilities.

Wickham Transport Interchange construction

Wickham rail lines were closed in December 2014, and construction on the transport interchange began in January 2015. Train services between Wickham and Newcastle stations resumed in October 2017.

Work includes the design and construction of train stabling, turn-back infrastructure, a new interchange building, signalling and communication systems, associated buildings and facilities, and roads.

Site preparation for construction between Hamilton and Wickham was carried out in January 2016. Vehicle or pedestrian entry at Beresford Street and between Stewart Avenue and Cooper Street were limited during construction.

The new roof structure of the interchange building offers improved weather-proofing for passengers. The project also included the construction of 11 pedestrian and road crossings.

Construction involved a truck-mounted drill rig, cranes, loaders, light vehicles, trucks, excavators, electrical testing equipment, backhoe loaders, asphalt pavers and vacuum trucks.

“New platforms and a concourse were constructed, as well as Opal electronic ticketing systems.”

Contractors involved

In December 2014, Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) awarded a $73m design and build contract to Laing O’Rourke for the Wickham transport interchange.

Downer was selected to remove redundant rail infrastructure from the railway between Stewart Avenue and Newcastle station.

GHD was contracted by TfNSW to prepare a residual corridor management plan, which was used to obtain approval for the Wickham transport interchange project.

Under a GHD contract awarded in September 2014, Urbis was selected to prepare heritage impact statements (HIS) for the truncation of the Newcastle Branch line in Wickham.