Newcastle Light Rail

Delivered January 2019

Project Information


Newcastle Transport


Newcastle, NSW


January 2019

Project Overview

The Newcastle Light Rail (NLR) project commenced in August 2016 with major construction beginning in September 2017. Stretching a total of 2.7 kilometres in length, the Newcastle Light Rail runs from the Newcastle Interchange at Wickham to Pacific Park in Newcastle East, 200 metres from Newcastle Beach. The line contains 6 stations at key locations including Newcastle Interchange, Honeysuckle, Civic, Crown Street, Market Street and Pacific Park.

As a local provider with extensive experience in the design, build, and maintenance of train control, communications and information management systems for the 2400km NSW Country Regional network, 4Tel were engaged to supply an effective communications, signalling and control solution to maximize the operational efficiency of the Newcastle Light Rail network.

Scope of Work

The solution required a communications, signalling and control solution that could accommodate for future expansion at minimal infrastructure cost based on future network development plans for the area.

A selection of 4Tel’s products were chosen to be most suitable for the network’s requirements, including:

4Site – A remote infrastructure monitoring system to allow staff and network personnel to quickly diagnose hardware faults and trends remotely for maintenance action.

4Trip – A timetable management system for the development and planning of service run-times and day-of-operation data, including special and holiday events.

4Trak – A real-time tracking system for monitoring each LRV’s GPS coordinates and location against designated safety criteria, generate data logs for improved decision making, and improved moving infrastructure awareness for network personnel.

4PIDs – Passenger information system that compares GPS and track-circuit data of each LRV to provide consistent up-to date information feeds to passengers waiting at each station. LRV service information is delivered via digital information displays, automated public address announcements and customer help points.

All of these products could be accessed via a web browser interface to allow for flexibility in remote operations.

Outcomes & Achievements

The culmination of 4Tel’s work on the Newcastle Light Rail project was 4LRMS – a complete end-to-end Light Rail Management System that could be accessed remotely and included automated alerts and monitoring for critical network infrastructure (4Site), automated reporting, a unified timetable management system with a single source of truth for passenger needs (4Trip), network-wide real-time GPS tracking for LRVs (4Trak) and a passenger information display solution for keeping passengers and commuters updated with the most relevant route information available at any given time (4PIDs).

These solutions were completed alongside:

  1. Vital communication systems, such as: OCC Communications Equipment, Public Address System, Radio System, Opal Ticketing System, Master Clock System, PID network, Telephone Network System, RTU/SCADA system, Security: Local Controllers and CCTV, Lighting Control System and a Fire System Network.
  2. Signalling and controls systems: Project Management, Cabinets Trackside, Train to Track Communications, Vehicle Detection, Control System, OCC SCADA, BCC (SCADA & Control), OCC Control (System Interfaces), a Depot Stabling Yard and System Wide Design.

The light rail network opened for passenger journeys on the 18th of February 2019 and saw over 100,000 trips taken within the first month of operation, far exceeding initial expectations.