The $2.4 billion Parramatta Light Rail will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia, revitalising the region and communities along the route. Major construction to deliver the light rail program began in 2020, with the network expected to commence services in 2023.

Major light rail construction on Parramatta’s ‘Eat Street’ dining strip is being fast-tracked for completion in mid-2021, returning the precinct to sophisticated outdoor dining as quickly as possible.

Transport for NSW acknowledges that building in the heart of an active city centre presents significant challenges. The Parramatta Light Rail will transport around 16000 customers every day into a new shared light rail and pedestrian zone within ‘Eat Street’, a famed dining precinct along Church Street, (between Palmer and George Streets, Parramatta), offering outdoor dining, bars, restaurants and cafés.

The street is now closed to car traffic and major construction for the Parramatta Light Rail network is underway from Macquarie to Market Streets, marking the first step in the revitalisation of this important precinct.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many businesses have had no option but to temporarily close or modify their business models to adapt to NSW Government ‘lockdown’ regulations, social distancing, reduced foot traffic and reduced customer numbers. For all of these reasons, a number of significant initiatives are underway to support local businesses along the popular dining strip.

Transport for NSW is committed to supporting and managing impacts on local businesses during construction, and continues to work closely with local business owners to ensure they have the information and support they require.

What’s happening?

Major light rail construction on Parramatta’s ‘Eat Street’ dining strip will be fast-tracked for completion in mid-2021, returning the precinct to sophisticated outdoor dining as quickly as possible. The construction schedule has been amended in response to COVID-19. This will see work continue through a planned three month construction break, bringing forward the completion of major construction.

The construction schedule for Parramatta’s Eat Street has been developed to minimise impacts on local businesses as much as possible. Major construction includes, but is not limited to, removal of the existing road surface, deep excavations, the laying of new underground utility services, footpath works and landscaping.

Nearly 2000 metres of colourful shadecloth and hoarding has been installed to highlight the array of local retailers and reflect the popular dining area’s rich cultural diversity. This construction hoarding is also being installed to ensure work areas are restricted for the safety of the general public.

An activation, known as ‘Eat Street Uncovered’, will take place from August 2021 before the second phase of light rail works, installation of light rail stops, testing and commissioning, begins.

Infrastructure works to be completed include the laying of light rail tracks and the powering of streetlights.

Supporting local businesses

In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak in NSW, supporting businesses during light rail construction is now more critical than ever. Transport for NSW is working hard to help businesses build resilience, adapt to changing arrangements and seek out new opportunities during construction.

After listening to feedback from local businesses, the Parramatta Light Rail Business Reference Group has agreed with the light rail infrastructure works contractor Parramatta Connect that construction will not take place on Eat Street between the hours of 6pm and midnight without prior consultation, meaning businesses can operate with minimal disruption during the evening trade.

More than 150 businesses along the Parramatta Light Rail alignment have signed up to free business support from Realise Business, appointed by Transport for NSW. ‘Activate Parramatta’, a Transport for NSW plan for businesses impacted by Parramatta Light Rail construction, has also been developed to promote local businesses, events and activities, including local area marketing campaigns offering special deals and discounts. These include ‘Game Day’ promotions in association with Bankwest Stadium and ‘Dine, Scan, Win!’ competitions to attract local visitors and shoppers to Eat Street. Visit Supporting businesses to find out more.

To download the ‘Activate Parramatta’ app, visit the Apple Store or Google Play.

Download and activate Parramatta

An app, ‘Activate Parramatta’, has been launched to attract local residents and visitors to restaurants and shops along the light rail route. Shoppers will have easy access to a directory of participating local businesses and the opportunity to win prizes if they dine or make a purchase at a participating restaurant, cafe or takeaway shop along the light rail route, including Eat Street.

Parramatta Light Rail will provide a boost to businesses, with around 28,000 people expected to get on and off light rail services everyday by 2026, with stops located in and around ‘Eat Street’ and Parramatta Square.

Our commitment

The construction of major public transport infrastructure is governed by a number of conditions including working with communities on mitigation measures. Transport for NSW is aiming to build the light rail infrastructure on Eat Street as quickly as possible with as little disruption to your business, by working with our contractors Parramatta Connect to ensure:

  • No more than four nights worked over seven days
  • Highly noise-intensive works are limited to a maximum of two consecutive nights
  • Noise blankets applied to hoardings where noisy work occurs
  • Dust managed with measures that include water sprays from guerneys or carts, and run-off (dust and debris) managed with silt barriers
  • Any overnight works impacting footpaths completed by 8am, with footpaths restored.

More information can be found at Light rail construction.

Keeping you informed

Transport for NSW is committed to providing regular and frequent information to the community and local businesses about the Parramatta Light Rail program, to manage impacts and keep people informed.

For several years now, Transport for NSW place managers have been door-knocking, surveying and talking to businesses along the Parramatta Light Rail alignment to gain a better understanding of how local Parramatta businesses operate, and to provide information and updates about the project.

We are not able to catch up with you face to face while we all try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus but it is important to us that you continue to receive information about the project and works during this time. We appreciate your patience and invite you to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Parramatta Light Rail features and benefits

  • High-frequency ‘turn-up-and-go’ light rail services seven days a week, approximately every 7.5 minutes during peak periods.
  • 16 fully accessible stops, integrated into the urban environment.
  • Modern and comfortable air-conditioned vehicles, 45m long and driver-operated, carrying up to 300 customers.
  • Will integrate with rail, bus, Metro and/or ferry facilities at Westmead, Parramatta CBD and Carlingford.
  • Two shared light rail and pedestrian zones will be created along Church Street (between Market and Macquarie Streets) and Macquarie Street (between Horwood Place and Smith Street), Parramatta.
  • The Parramatta Light Rail will replace the train line between Camellia and Carlingford, offering frequent “turn up and go” services to connect Carlingford, Camellia, Parramatta and Westmead.
  • A new Active Transport Link (shared walking and bike riding path) will be built between Carlingford and Parramatta.
  • Fully integrated with the NSW Opal ticketing system for seamless travel.
  • Expected to take the equivalent of 25,000 cars off the road by 2041.