The Parramatta Light Rail will be the first light rail service in NSW to feature grass ‘green track’. It will connect customers from Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia, and is expected to commence services in 2023.
What is green track?
‘Green track’ describes a state-of-the-art light rail design that features grass and vegetation between and along the tracks. Traditionally, this space is filled with concrete, asphalt or ballast.
Benefits of a green track
- Reduces air temperature in the area (improves urban climate)
- Minimises noise and glare, and has a positive visual impact, as the grass tracks are fully embedded in the ground
- Produces oxygen and filters dust in the air
- Filters stormwater and regulates drainage (ie reduces flooding)
- Enhances the natural habitat and improves biodiversity
- Seamless integration into urban landscape.
Where will the green track be located?
A total of 1.3 kilometres of green track will be featured across three sections of the alignment: Cumberland Precinct, Robin Thomas Reserve and Tramway Avenue in Parramatta.
Who will maintain the green track?
Great River City Light Rail (a consortium between Transdev and CAF Rail Australia) will maintain and operate the light rail system, including the ongoing upkeep of the green track.
How will the grass survive in Western Sydney's hot climate?
‘Nara’ Zoysia grass was successfully tested for fire prevention and climate resistance. A sophisticated programmable, solar powered irrigation system will also ensure the grass and groundcover along the track is continuously hydrated based on the average temperature and water intake requirements of the plants throughout the year.
What type of grass will be used?
A 12-month prototyping process was undertaken to test grass and groundcover to determine the most appropriate native species suitable for Parramatta’s weather and climate conditions. ‘Nara’ Zoysia, a native species to Australia, was selected due to its hardy, drought-tolerant features and slow growth rate, which will make it easier to maintain such as mowing.