Monday, 21 August 2017

MILESTONE: 20 Years of Light Rail in Sydney (1997)

Source: Stuart, S. 1997. "All aboard the city streetcars tomorrow: Trams right on track". The Sunday Telegraph, August 10: 9.

This month is 20 years since the return of trams to Sydney. In August 1997, the first services commenced operation from Central Station through Pyrmont to Wentworth Park at Glebe.
The first services began on August 11 but were limited in frequency until the end of the month.


Source: Rogers, J. 1997. "Back on Track: After 36 years, the trams return to Sydney". The Daily Telegraph, August 11, 3. 

However, the grand opening was not until August 31, 1997, with festivities at all stations along the line.


Source: Sydney Light Rail. 1997. "Don't miss our 4 kilometre party!" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, August 28: 26 & 27. 

The following day (September 1) saw the commencement of full services.

Sydney light rail opens september 1 1997 daily telegraph 17

Source:  Birch, S & Robinson, M. 1997. "One passenger, 8 minutes late". The Daily Telegraph, September 1, 17. 

The return of trams to Sydney was not without its problems. One concern was the speed of the trams as they made their way through Haymarket. They were merely too slow.

Source: Skelsey, K. 1997. "Slow tram coming: Delays force review of 20km/h speed limit". The Daily Telegraph, September 22: 17.

Motorists faced fines blocking trams.


Source: Bissett, K. 1997. "Trams bring new road fine hazards". The Daily Telegraph, June 16: 6.

The changes were too much for some...

Source: Porter, B. 1997. Sydney's most confusing corner claims another victim ... and another ... and another. The Daily Telegraph, September 23: 17. 

The line was extended from Wentworth Park to Lilyfield in 2000 with a further extension to Dulwich Hill opening in 2014. Initally, the light rail was privately owned and managed by TNT Transit Link (also operators of the monorail) , before changing ownership to CGEA Australia. In 2012, the State Government purchased the company for $20 million before integrating fares and services into the broader public transport network.

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