Wireless trams for Newcastle’s proposed light rail network

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An artist's impression of Newcastle Light Rail in Market Street. Credit: Transport for New South Wales.

Transport for NSW has opted for wireless trams to operate on a new light rail system in Newcastle.

Overhead catenary will be replaced with on-board energy storage based on ultra-capacitors and/or lithium batteries as one of a number of upgrades to the system.

Construction of the light rail network is due to begin in 2017 and conclude in 2019. Spanish manufacturer CAF are supplying six Urbos trams for the project.

Announcing the decision today (April 18), Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance described the move as a “game changer” for the sustainability for the mode of transport and helping to preserve the city’s heritage.

“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.”

The light rail is part of New South Wales government’s €467 million investment to revitalise Newcastle.

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