The temporary closure of the Newcastle’s heavy rail line will allow work to begin on revitalising the area. The project will include the construction of a new transport interchange at Wickham and a light rail network linking the CBD and the foreshore.
Minister for Transport and Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian said the fleet of replacement buses will begin operating on Boxing Day. The modern, fully-accessible, air-conditioned buses will run frequently during peak hours - connecting with trains in Newcastle.
“Customers will be able catch a bus every 10 minutes in the peak from sheltered bus stops at Hamilton, Wickham, Civic and Newcastle stations and Queens Wharf, connecting with every train service at Hamilton Station,” Minister Berejiklian said.
She added, “During an interim period from 26 December to 5 January, trains will terminate at Broadmeadow while upgrades are completed at Hamilton Station. After 5 January, all trains will terminate at Hamilton, with buses taking customers to and from the CBD.
Ms Berejiklian said she is confident the replacement buses will have enough capacity for “every customer to get a seat”. She also confirmed that during major events such as New Year’s Eve and January’s Asian Cup football tournament there will be extra buses scheduled.
The bus timetable will be integrated with the train timetable and fare pricing will match current train fares, for both Opal and paper ticket sales.
The new Wickham interchange is scheduled to be complete in late-2016, with replacement buses set to connect with trains at Wickham until the light rail network is completed.