Latest News

Keolis Downer adds light rail to the multimodal transport network in Newcastle

18 February 2019

Keolis Downer adds light rail to the multimodal transport network in Newcastle

  • On Monday 18th February, Keolis Downer started operating the new light rail service in Newcastle
    on behalf of Transport for NSW, as part of the city’s multimodal transport network
  • Operations are starting ahead of schedule, providing the local community the opportunity to
    experience improved services earlier than expected
  • This illustrates Keolis Downer’s commitment to support the delivery of transport systems that are
    integrated and revitalise cities

On 18th February 2019, Keolis Downer, operator of Newcastle Transport, started operating the new light
rail, on behalf of Transport for NSW.

The team has worked tirelessly to get ready for an early launch, achieving a record 10,000km driven in just
over four months during the testing phase, and training 14 drivers. This is the equivalent of 1,000 trips per
light rail vehicle.

Light rail is a key element of the multimodal network and will provide Novocastrians with a new way to
travel while efficiently connecting with existing bus and ferry services.

“We took the keys to Newcastle’s bus and ferry services on 1 July 2017, and redesigned the bus and ferry
network around the introduction of light rail to ensure optimal interchange” comments David Franks, Keolis
Downer CEO.

“Integrated transport is the most effective way to deliver public transport across multiple modes. Today,
with the introduction of light rail, the network will be fully multimodal encouraging more people to use
public transport.”

“Newcastle Transport is a multimodal network incorporating light rail, bus, ferry and On Demand to deliver
the highest level of services to our customers.”

“Our experience from operating light rail around the world, including G:link on the Gold Coast, is that light
rail is transformative in the renewal of cities.”

Light rail is an integral part of the revitalisation of Newcastle, providing a frequent and reliable travel option
through the city centre, connecting key activity precincts, reinvigorating Hunter and Scott streets, and
opening up great urban renewal opportunities.

Newcastle Light Rail has also provided the opportunity to create new vibrant and inviting public spaces, as
well as passive outdoor spaces, which are attracting people back to the city centre and stimulating demand
for new services.

Newcastle Transport multimodal network in figures:

Operations began on 1 July 2017 with bus and ferry services
A multimodal network composed of:

  • Light rail:
    • 2.7 km in length, six stops
    • Six light rail vehicles (33-metres long) made by CAF
    • Catenary-free, powered in 23 seconds by a supercapacity energy system at each station
    • Up to 270 passengers per vehicle
    • Fully accessible, low floor design
    • Fitted with surfboard racks
  • 174 buses
  • 2 ferries
  • On Demand transport in real-time

For more information visit

About Keolis Downer
Keolis Downer is a leading operator and integrator of public transport in Australia. With more than 4,000 employees and a presence in five states, Keolis Downer enables 250 million passenger journeys per year. We operate and maintain the largest tram network in the world in Melbourne (Yarra Trams), the light rail network on the Gold Coast (G:link), and more than 1,200 buses in NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.
Established in 2009, Keolis Downer is a joint venture between Keolis, a leading public transport operator established in 16 countries, and Downer, the leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand.

Segolene Deeley – Director Corporate Affairs
+61 421 929 334 /