The CBD and South East Light Rail has reached an exciting new milestone, with the installation of overhead wires and the introduction of testing and commissioning of electrical systems and vehicles.

Before we can operate a new light rail system to a timetable and with passengers on board, we need to ensure that the system is fully functional and safe for public use. This takes many months prior to the operation of the first light rail service.

Testing and commissioning will be undertaken in sections across the alignment, before driver training and the full line is tested prior to operation.

Tram safety

Night-time tram testing has been extended to Wansey Road in Randwick during November 2018.

This is the first time testing is being conducted through an intersection, testing the traffic signals phasing at Darley and Alison roads to help ensure a good balance of movements for motorists, buses, pedestrians, cyclists and light rail.

In conjunction with this testing phase, Transport for NSW is reminding pedestrians, cyclists and road users to change their behaviour and keep safe around the new trams.

Night-time tram testing began in early 2018 with the first trams running along Alison Road in Randwick.

The first vehicle tests have been carried out at night with trams operating at low speeds.

Safe cycling

When cycling along any of the intersections with tracks laid, the ongoing recommendation and safety message to cyclists, is to ride alongside the tracks in the kerbside lane.  

To ride safely over tracks, approach them at an angle to reduce the risk of bike wheels getting trapped. If a crossing is too difficult to ride over, it is best to dismount and walk your bicycle.

Testing and commissioning will start from October 2017, initially around Moore Park and Randwick with overhead wiring being erected in the precinct.

The testing and commissioning process takes place in three stages:

Installation of overhead wires

Once poles are installed, a specialised crew will begin installing cantilevers, cross spans and supports to each pole that will support the overhead wires (also known as catenary) along the alignment. The crew will then pull lengths of the overhead wire and attach from pole to pole before performing final adjustments and testing.

Energisation of overhead wires

When the overhead wires are in place and testing is complete, they will be energised. New signs will be installed along live sections, warning that the area is now energised. Contact with wires must be avoided at all times.

Light rail vehicle testing

When final safety checks are complete on the light rail systems, vehicle testing will begin. The first movements will be within the Randwick Stabling Yard, and along Alison Road and Anzac Parade. Vehicle testing will initially be carried out at low speed, gradually increasing as tests are verified. New signage and traffic signals will be in place and we’ll be providing more information to the community about safety around the new light rail vehicles when testing begins.


During testing and commissioning of the light rail, hazard zones are established to help identify areas of increased hazards including electrical hazards and tram movements. All works in a hazard zone require an approved Permit to Work before proceeding. The following are examples of the types of activities that may require a permit when working in or near a hazard zone:

  • Erecting ladders or scaffolding
  • Establishing work stations
  • Tree pruning
  • Operating excavators, cranes or any other plant equipment
  • Operating forklifts or any other heavy machinery
  • Delivering equipment/goods from large or oversize vehicles

Any other work activity that has the potential to encroach the hazard zone or come within 3 metres of poles and wires will require a permit to work and have a PIC assigned to them. Please contact the project team and they will assess the works to determine where a permit is required.