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Media Release: Newcastle Light Rail Delivers Sustainability Spades

Friday, August 7, 2020

Newcastle Light Rail has become the first light rail program in Australasia to achieve an Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) ‘Excellent’ rating for both Design and As Build.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack applauded the Light Rail project team for achieving the highest possible standards in sustainability.
Newcastle Light Rail program director Anand Thomas said the high ratings reflect Transport for NSW’s commitment to delivering sustainability in major infrastructure.
“This is a fantastic outcome for the community and great recognition for the Newcastle Light Rail project team and its delivery partner Downer EDI,” said Mr Thomas. 
“We set out to put sustainability at the forefront of our design process and by doing so, a benchmark has been set for the future of public transport.” 
ISCA is the peak body for sustainable infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand, evaluating performance across planning, design, construction and operation.
ISCA chief executive Ainsley Simpson said the Newcastle Light Rail demonstrated leadership in sustainable infrastructure.
“Measuring the project’s impact against a third-party, world-leading Infrastructure Sustainability scheme is best practice,” said Ms Simpson. 
“Light rail certainly does not play a light role in the sustainability of our cities. It’s fantastic to see vibrant regional cities also reaping social, environmental and economic benefits.”
Newcastle Light Rail’s industry-leading sustainability initiatives include:
· 100% catenary-free design (no overhead wires), an Australian first 
· An on-board energy-storage system reducing energy and material use
· Photovoltaic cells providing the light rail depot with solar power for its operating needs 
· The restoration of the historic Cottage Creek Bridge; reuse of sandstone blocks from the former 1872 Honeysuckle Station; and reuse of a remnant pier from the old AA Company Bridge, critical to the early coal industry in Newcastle, for pedestrian seating.
Newcastle Light Rail was part of the $650 million Newcastle Urban Transformation and Transport program to revitalise Newcastle’s city centre and deliver better transport connections. It commenced operations in February 2019, providing frequent and reliable services from Newcastle Interchange at Wickham to Pacific Park in Newcastle. 
MEDIA: Tasman Brown | 0447 816 092