Inner West Independent

Inner west relieved by ‘really positive’ light rail resumption

The inner west light rail has been suspended since late October. Photo: Sydney - City and Suburbs.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

Inner west light rail services will resume in February after NSW Transport Minister Rob Stokes confirmed that repairs to all 12 cracked trams will be finished by October next year. 

The state government will supply the network with trams from the CBD line for services between Central and Lilyfield in February before extending to Dulwich Hill in the following months, allowing inner west residents greater certainty after the service was suspended in late October. 

“It’s really positive that we’re going to get some sort of service restored on the light rail earlier than expected,” incoming inner west councillor and Greens mayoral candidate Kobi Shetty told the Independent

“I’m really glad that we have some positive news because it’s been a massive disruption to an already disrupted year.” 

The announcement comes after the light rail bus replacement services were labelled inconvenient and unpredictable by inner west residents. 

Transport for NSW Chief Operations Officer Howard Collins said that he was “[ninety-five] per cent absolutely sure” that the light rail would resume in early February, with four trams scheduled to operate between Central and Lilyfield every 15 minutes. It is expected that the speed and efficiency of the CBD line trams will be similar to the original inner west trams. 

“School students, commuters and businesses along the light rail corridor are being massively affected by the closure of the line,” returning councillor and Labor mayoral candidate Darcy Byrne told the Independent

“With no confirmed timeline for the reopening of the service to Dulwich Hill, the new council will need to do everything possible to mitigate the impacts on the Inner West community.” 

During its inaugural term, Inner West councillors had tabled countless motions related to local concerns regarding state-based infrastructure projects, including WestConnex, the Western Harbour Tunnel and the Rozelle Parklands. It’s now anticipated that the light rail network will be a fixture of the new council agenda, which will begin later this month when a new mayor is to be voted in.

“We need to make sure that as a governing body that we’re advocating really strongly for the residents when there’s anything that’s inconveniencing them this much,” Cr Shetty said. 

“It’s a big priority for the council to continue with that advocacy piece, to make sure that we’re pushing the state government to not only fix the issues with the light rail that we’re seeing at the moment, but really work to increase and improve the public transport around Sydney.” 

Crack to basics

The cracked inner west trams will be repaired at a Pyrmont depot, whereby works will involve adding new components to the floors of the vehicles to prevent future cracking. Collins maintains the belief that the NSW government will not pay for the repairs.

The resumption of the inner west light rail was previously reported by The Sydney Morning Herald

Related Posts