Light Rail from Wickham
The long awaited decision on where the rail line would be cut has finally come with Wickham being the new interchange location for the light rail. There are many disappointed that the existing rail line is not retained and see this as another barrier to drawing people back to Hunter St.
Now we are left with two options for the light rail line as pictured below (Source: NSW Planning). Use the existing rail corridor and modify the existing infrastructure to suit or start from scratch and run the light rail down Hunter St. The later is the preferred option by many local business that want more people visiting their Hunter St. shops.
The main point of this exercise is to open up the CBD to more pedestrian traffic and allow flow of people from the foreshore to the CBD with less hassle. An offshoot is to limit the traffic congestion that the current rail line imposes, so dependent on how the light rail is implemented depends on how effective this aspect becomes.
Either way, implementing a new transport system will create jobs in the Hunter which is a win for the region to some extent. Only time will tell how effective light rail is compared to the existing rail line.