All aboard: UNSW celebrates the arrival of light rail

Hundreds of students, staff members and visitors celebrated a historical commute to UNSW Sydney on Monday morning with the arrival of the first light rail services from Circular Quay to Randwick.

Light Rail to UNSW

The launch of the L2 Light Rail line provides a modern transport solution to the Kensington campus with the UNSW High Street stop conveniently located near Gate 9. The L2 line includes 14 stops between Circular Quay and Randwick, running through the CBD, Central, Surry Hills, Moore Park, UNSW and ending at the Randwick Hospitals Campus on High Street.

The University's mascot, Clancy the Lion, greeted passengers as they alighted the tram. The few hiccups on opening weekend didn't deter riders who were eager to catch the new transport option to UNSW, including Vice-President, Human Resources David Ward and President of the Academic Board, Associate Professor David Cohen.

The new light rail service supplements the UNSW express bus from Eddy Avenue to High Street. Commuters on the light rail said they enjoyed the scenery along the route and the quiet and comfortable interiors of the carriages.  

"The trip was nice and smooth: better than the stop-start of the bus. I could chat to a few colleagues, so the time passed pretty quickly,” said Rhys Stark, a research assistant at the Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics. “I would recommend it as a way to travel to UNSW. It’s the easiest way to travel to UNSW, without many queues. Just a few stops and you’re there.” 

UNSW Management Board members and staff (from left) Professor Eileen Baldry, Professor Merlin Crossley, Chase Cameron and Jon Paparsenos joined Clancy the Lion to greet commuters arriving via light rail on Monday.

UNSW is one of the key stakeholders of the light rail project and has been working for years with Transport for NSW. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Merlin Crossley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Equity Diversity and Inclusion, Eileen Baldry,  Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Professor Nicholas Fisk and Vice-President, Philanthropy Jon Paparsenos – who are all UNSW Management Board members – were present at the UNSW High Street stop to mark the historic occasion on Monday. 

“This will be good for our students, staff, visitors to campus and for each of us working at UNSW when we want to hop on to visit the city during the day," Professor Crossley said. “We’re grateful to all those who worked hard on this project and for the patience of those inconvenienced during construction.”

Chief Communications Officer Darren Goodsir and Project Manager Chaseley Cameron attended the NSW government's official opening of the light rail on Saturday and were aboard the historic first tram journey on the new L2 line.

The L3 Kingsford Branch Line is due to open in March 2020 and will add five stops: ES Marks, Kensington, UNSW Anzac Parade, Kingsford and Juniors Kingsford.

Learn more about light rail fares, routes, and accessibility information on the Transport for NSW Info website.

This article first appeared on UNSW Newsroom