The line links Newcastle city centre and the public transport interchange at Wickham, replacing through heavy rail services from Sydney, which were controversially withdrawn in 2014.

Newcastle Light Rail is operated by Keolis Downer as part of the company’s broader 10-year contract with Transport for NSW to operate light rail, buses and ferries under the Newcastle Transport banner.

The light rail line is 2.7km long with six stops. Services are provided by six battery-equipped low-floor CAF Urbos LRVs. In a first for Australia, the system is catenary-free, with the onboard energy storage system recharged in 23-second cycles.

“From Monday February 18, light rail taking passengers through the heart of Newcastle will be the new normal, marking a key moment in the city’s revitalisation,” says minister for transport and infrastructure, Mr Andrew Constance. “With 4000 new homes and almost 8000 more jobs expected in the city centre by 2036, Newcastle Light Rail will play an important role in keeping this growing city moving, and reducing congestion well into the future.”