The 2.5km line will link a new transport hub at the existing heavy rail station at Wickham with Pacific Park in the Newcastle city centre.

The last few kilometres of the heavy rail line from Sydney in Newcastle were controversially closed just over a year ago with services currently curtailed at Hamilton and replaced by buses into the city.

The NSW government promised a light rail link to replace the heavy rail link between the new, yet to be built, hub at Wickham and the city centre. Construction is expected to start later this year.

"We're now calling on qualified organisations to register their interest for the design and construction tender for light rail. From here we'll develop a shortlist and expect to award a formal tender by the middle of the year," a Transport for NSW spokesperson said.

The closing date for expressions of interest is February 12 with the infrastructure contract due to be awarded in mid-2016. Costings and funding options have yet to be confirmed.