Newcastle's Light Rail Powers Up For First Time Tonight

Proper testing begins!

Newcastle's Light Rail Powers Up For First Time Tonight

Newcastle's light rail network takes a significant step forward tonight when the first powered vehicle hits the tracks.

It's set to run on battery power for the first time, and use one of the charging stations at a stop on the network.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance says the vehicle is set to undergo several safety tests over the coming weeks, before teams take it for a spin during daylight hours.

"It's designed as part of the testing to include a range of simulations, like filling the tram with weights to mimic it being completely full with passengers and checking the traffic signalling interactions at pedestrian intersections and crossings."

"It allows the government to check things like the brakes, the on-board energy storage, the charging systems - and at the same time providing valuable training for crews given we're going to see passengers on the light rail vehicles in the first quarter of 2019."

It's not clear where on the network the testing will take place.