Light Rail: A new era of travel to UNSW Sydney

11 Dec 2019
light rail vehicle

NSW Government has officially announced the launch of the first of the two Light Rail lines to UNSW, marking one of the most significant pieces of infrastructure to support the University in its 70-year history. 

UNSW Sydney has welcomed the State Government’s launch of the L2 Circular Quay to Randwick Line from this Saturday, 14 December, which will provide a more efficient and environmentally sustainable transport option for students and staff travelling to the University’s Kensington campus. 

The CBD and South East Light Rail (CSELR) network links the Sydney CBD with Randwick via Central. The 12km route features 19 stops from Circular Quay through the city, stopping at Bridge Street, Wynyard, QVB, Town Hall, Chinatown and Haymarket before reaching Central station, where many UNSW students and staff will board. 

The L2 Randwick branch line heads down Alison Road, past Randwick Racecourse and UNSW’s High Street entrance, near Gate 9, before continuing to Randwick. The L1 line which runs from Central to Dulwich Hill has been in place since 2014. 

The L3 Kingsford branch line is due to open in March 2020 and will travel from Moore Park to ES Marks Athletics Field, the Anzac Parade entrance to UNSW and The Juniors Kingsford. 

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs said the Light Rail will play a vital role in alleviating current transport issues and will improve campus accessibility. 

“Students and staff alike will benefit from this modern, more efficient Light Rail system,” Professor Jacobs said. 

“It is an exciting development and significant piece of infrastructure that provides the UNSW community with greater connectivity to the heart of Sydney.” 

Services will initially run every four to eight minutes between Circular Quay and Central, and every eight to ten minutes between Central and Randwick, during the 7am to 7pm peak period. The tram services on the L2 Randwick line will operate every day between 5am and 1am. 

Arc Chair Ben Jones said the Light Rail offers a streamlined and safe transport option that will be an exciting addition to the experience of being a UNSW student. 

“The efficiency and accessibility of the Light Rail will mean that more students are on campus, further enhancing the student experience," he said. 

“Numerous activities will be established near the UNSW Light Rail stops to ensure students feel immersed in the UNSW community from the moment they enter the campus.” 

The environmental benefits are significant, with a 663,000-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over a 30-year period through a reduced dependence on cars and buses. The Light Rail also uses 10 times less energy than a car.   

The Light Rail has been designed to complement the South East bus services, not replace them. Cross-city services, express and some all-stops and will continue to operate. There will be changes to bus services, however, these won’t be implemented until four to six weeks following the opening of the L3 Kingsford branch line in March 2020. 

With the addition of the Light Rail around the University campus, students and staff are urged to be aware while walking around the Light Rail tracks and not be distracted by mobile phones. See more information and tips on how to stay safe around the light rail in this edition of Inside UNSW. 

You can view more information regarding fares, routes, and accessibility information on the Transport for NSW Info website.