The first tram has rolled through Parramatta CBD, with testing ramping up for the Parramatta Light Rail Project ahead of services due to commence later in 2024.

The 45m long light rail vehicle travelled slowly under police escort on its inaugural 6.6km journey from the stabling facility in Camellia, through Parramatta Square, along Church St, through the hospital precinct, to its final stop at Westmead.

Parramatta locals and visitors can expect to see more tram trials through the city, during the day and night, with more than 2,000 hours of testing to be completed before the tram is given the green light to take passengers.

When the light rail is in service, more than 16,000 people are expected to use the Church Street stop each day to connect to more than 60 local eateries, shops and businesses.

The test also marks the first time a 63t tram has travelled over the new Bidgee Bidgee Bridge in Rosehill, which allows vehicles to cross James Ruse Drive without disrupting traffic. The bridge, named after the famed leader of the Burramattagal clan of the Dharug People, is the largest of six new bridges built for the project.

The community is reminded to be alert for trams when walking, riding or driving near the light rail, and to follow signs and traffic directions. A comprehensive safety campaign is also being rolled out in line with the testing program.

Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 connects Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia.

The Parramatta Square light rail stop will connect to the future Metro West station, due to open in 2032, and Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2, which has now been granted New South Wales planning approval.

New South Wales Premier, Chris Minns, said, “I am delighted to mark this milestone with a tram travelling through Parramatta CBD for the first time in over 80 years – giving us a glimpse of what the future of public transport will look like in Western Sydney.

“This is another exciting milestone in our commitment to making sure Parramatta Light Rail is on track to service tens of thousands of passengers by mid-2024.

“The light rail will breathe new life into Western Sydney, boosting local businesses, connecting key precincts and servicing an estimated 28,000 passengers each day in our west.”

New South Wales Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen, said, “People living in Western Sydney deserve reliable, world-class public transport links and that’s what we’re delivering this year.

“This project has supported 5,500 jobs – and I want to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to make this milestone possible.

“In the coming months, these trams will be a brand new public transport service connecting some of our fastest growing communities. 

“We’re also pushing forward with the next stage of Parramatta Light Rail, because communities like Wentworth Point and Melrose Park deserve the public transport services that they were promised.”

Member for Parramatta, Donna Davis, said, “It is fantastic to see how the light rail will support local businesses in our CBD, which have had a challenging few years due to COVID and construction impacts.

“I encourage everyone over the coming months to visit Parramatta, drop into a local business on the light rail route and see the light rail vehicles as they move through the city and surrounding suburbs.”

Transport for New South Wales Infrastructure and Place Deputy Secretary, Camilla Drover, said, “The Parramatta Light Rail project is well and truly advancing, after testing on the Carlingford section of the line got underway in December last year.

“Safety remains a key priority for the project, and I encourage everyone to stay safe around the light rail as testing continues.

“This is the first time vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists have had to interact with light rail in Parramatta, so we ask all road users to remain vigilant. Please take extra care to be safe when walking, riding or driving near the light rail and pay attention to the signs and traffic directions.”

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