About the project
The CBD and South East Light Rail is a new light rail network for Sydney. The 12km route, featuring 19 stops, extends from Circular Quay along George Street to Central Station, through Surry Hills to Moore Park, then to Randwick and Kingsford via Alison Road and Anzac Parade.
Light rail will provide high capacity, clean, frequent and reliable services connecting key CBD locations with Surry Hills, the Moore Park stadiums precinct, Randwick racecourse, the University of NSW and hospitals at Randwick.
The project has created a one-kilometre pedestrian zone along George Street, between Hunter and Bathurst streets, helping George Street’s historic heart achieve its potential as one of the world’s premier boulevards. Light rail has proven all around the world to be a major catalyst for urban renewal and to improve urban amenity.
Benefits are explored further in our Light Rail Benefits factsheet
The route was designed to service major transport hubs, providing easy interchange with buses, trains, ferries and the Inner West Light Rail. With the ease of the Opal card and more public transport services than ever before, interchanging between services has never been more seamless.
The CBD and South East Light Rail operates a high frequency turn-up-and-go service, running every 4-8 minutes between Circular Quay and Central, and every 8-12 minutes between Central and Randwick and Kingsford in the 7am-7pm peak on weekdays.
Visit transportnsw.info to plan your trip.
The 33-metre light rail vehicles will be coupled together to form 67-metre services, accommodating around 450 passengers – as many as up to nine standard buses. This means the new network will have the initial capacity to move up to 13,500 commuters per hour (6,750 in each direction) during peak times.
Sydney is growing, with its population set to increase by another one million people over the next 10 years. This will place greater demands on road, rail and bus networks. Many of those extra people will live in and around already busy urban areas, meaning new public transport services like the CBD and South East Light Rail and Sydney Metro are needed to support existing networks, providing more capacity and new connections to get customers where they want to go and reduce reliance on cars.
Light rail is highly reliable, with 97 per cent of services arriving within two or three minutes of the timetable, and express bus services and some all-stops and cross-regional buses will complement light rail services to and from the city.
- The revised construction costs for the CBD and South East Light Rail equate to $2.9 billion
- The final cost and an updated benefit-cost analysis will be determined following project completion and a final completion review by Infrastructure NSW.
Travelling on light rail
The new L2 Randwick line from Randwick to Circular Quay opened on Saturday 14 December 2019.
The L3 Kingsford Line opened on Friday 3 April 2020.
Normal tram services operate between 5am and 1am.
Visit transportnsw.info to plan your trip.
The CBD and South East Light Rail operates as a turn-up-and-go service, initially running every 4-8 minutes between Circular Quay and Central, and every 8-12 minutes between Central and Randwick and Kingsford in the 7am-7pm peak on week days. This will become more frequent as we get through the bedding in period.
Estimated service arrival times will be available on electronic information boards on platforms and transport apps such at the Opal Travel app.
Visit transportnsw.info to plan your trip.
As with existing rules for the Inner West Light Rail, bicycles are permitted to be carried on board the CBD & South East Light Rail by customers unless staff determine at busy times that it is unsafe to do so.
It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure bicycles are transported safely, including not presenting a trip hazard for other customers and light rail employees, and not obstructing the access points to the trams.
Transport for NSW encourages active transport. Surry Hills, Central Station, Haymarket and Chinatown light rail stops all have access to bike racks. Additionally, Juniors Kingsford has a secure bike facility at the southern end of the stop near Sturt St intersection, operated by Opal card for registered users as for similar facilities at rail stations.
All light rail stops are accessible with level access between platforms and trams for people using wheelchairs, scooters, walking frames and prams. This means there is no step onto the tram.
Help Points are located at all stops for customers in need of assistance.
Priority seating areas are located on board all light rail services and are marked with stickers on the walls and on the floor.
There are hearing loops at every stop, on board audio announcements, tactile flooring on platforms and sounding chimes when doors open and close.
For more information check out our accessible travel fact sheet.
The CBD and South East Light Rail is operated by Transdev Sydney Light Rail, also operator of the L1 Dulwich Hill Line on behalf of Transport for NSW.
Yes, customers will need to tap on and tap off with a valid Opal card or contactless payment method for every trip on the Sydney Light Rail.
Customers can also purchase single trip tickets at ticket machines located at all stops on the L2 Randwick Line and L3 Kingsford Line. Opal readers are located on all Sydney Light Rail platforms.
No. All public transport fares are set by Transport for NSW in accordance with advice from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Transport for NSW collects and keeps all fare revenue.
Light rail fares are calculated according to the distance travelled – from where you tap on to where you tap off and standard Opal fares apply.
Standard opal benefits apply to travel on light rail including – daily, weekly and Sunday travel caps.
For information regarding concessions and other discounted fares, please refer to the Tickets and Opal page on transportnsw.info for the latest fares.
This route was selected by the NSW Government following extensive feasibility investigations and consultation with key stakeholders. Transport for NSW considered a number of routes, based on the need for the light rail route to interchange with train, bus and ferry interchanges, serve key destinations and avoid both steep and narrow areas. The project received planning approval on 4 June 2014 and early works began in August 2014.
The CBD and South East Light Rail operates as part of a wider light rail network. To maximise service reliability, the networks operate separately. Customers can interchange between the two networks at Central Station or on George Street at Haymarket.
For full detail on stop locations, see our interactive map. The CBD and South East Light Rail stops will be at:
- Circular Quay (on Alfred Street near Pitt Street)
- Bridge Street (George Street south of Bridge Street)
- Wynyard (George Street between Hunter Street and Angel Place)
- QVB (George Street south of Market Street)
- Town Hall (George Street between Park Street and Bathurst Street)
- Chinatown (George Street near Campbell Street)
- Haymarket (Rawson Place west of Pitt Street)
- Central Chalmers Street (Chalmers Street between Eddy Avenue and Devonshire Street)
- Surry Hills (Devonshire Street at Ward Park, near Riley Street)
- Moore Park (opposite Sydney High north of Cleveland Street/Lang Road)
- Royal Randwick (north side of Alison Road west of Darley Road)
- Wansey Road (south side of Alison Road near Wansey Road)
- UNSW High Street (corner of High Street and Wansey Road)
- Randwick (High Street west of intersection with Avoca Street)
- ES Marks (Anzac Parade north of Kensington shops)
- Kensington (Anzac Parade between Todman Avenue and Bowral Street)
- UNSW Anzac Parade (Anzac Parade at University Mall)
- Kingsford (Anzac Parade at Kingsford shops)
- Juniors Kingsford (Anzac Parade south of Nineways intersection)
The number and location of stops was determined through extensive planning and consultation. The project and stop catchment areas, and the impact to journey times of additional stops, were considered during this process.
The L3 Kingsford Line opened on 3 April 2020.
For urgent enquiries or complaints, call the 24-hour construction response line on 1800 775 465.
For project enquiries, call 1800 684 490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traffic and parking
Yes you can still catch your bus. There are no changes to the south east bus network until after L3 Kingsford Line services are bedded in.
The network is designed to connect to major hubs and interchange with public transport over cars.
In the CBD there is a separated cycleway connecting Central and the Harbour Bridge via Castlereagh, Liverpool and Kent Streets.
There is a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists along Wansey Road in Moore Park.
With passenger services now operating between Circular Quay and Randwick, and tram testing underway on the Kensington and Kingsford stretch of alignment, all road users need to pay attention around trams.
Remember the tram tracks are for trams, not bicycles and not for cars.
Cyclists are reminded to not ride along the tracks and to cross at an angle, or dismount and walk across the tracks.
For pedestrians; look out before you step out and use designated crossings – particularly in the pedestrian area.
If you are a motorist and find yourself in the tramway – do not panic, drive slowly until you reach the next point that you can exit the tramway safely.
Light rail is an environmentally-focused mode of transport that will reduce greenhouse gases and noise pollution to provide clean, efficient travel. It will provide a sustainable public transport option to customers who live, work and travel within the CBD and South East, easing the pressure on Sydney’s roads by reducing the city’s reliance on cars and buses.
Among its environmental credentials:
- Over 30 years, our project reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 663,000 tonnes by reducing bus and car use.
- Light rail uses 10 times less energy than a car, per passenger kilometre.
- The Alstom light rail vehicles will be 99 per cent recyclable at the end of their lifespan.
All environment and planning documents, including tree and revegetation reports are available to view in our Library.