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Insights Parramatta Light Rail

Parramatta Light Rail is a major infrastructure project and will play an important role in building a new central business district (CBD) in western Sydney. 

image of the Parramatta Light Rail

Stage 1, a two-way track spanning 12 km, will link Parramatta’s CBD and train station to a number of key destinations and attractions, including a stadium and three university campuses. It’s expected to open in 2023. The preferred 9-km route for Stage 2 was announced in 2017.Transport for New South Wales is currently retaining AtkinsRéalis on a rolling basis as the operations and fleet technical advisor. It’s our job to ensure the business case and light rail operational services plan deliver customer-focused results.


In our role as the operations and fleet technical advisor we are putting the customer at the heart of the system, while ensuring the operational and maintenance needs are also considered during the design, development and delivery stages of the project.

Ensuring excellent customer service

Excellent customer service is a priority for this project, so it's important that the operator be properly incentivized to deliver good performance. Following research on performance regimes employed by other light-rail systems, our team provided the framework on how the operator will be incentivised. In conjunction with the commercial advisor, they then contributed to the development of a fully-calibrated performance regime.

Contributing to a competitive procurement process

We brought our experience in working with tram suppliers, along with our knowledge of good asset management and public transport operations, to develop scope and performance requirements that create competitive tension among suppliers, provide an operational focus and put the customer at the centre of the light-rail system.

Working within a team of diverse stakeholders

Our strong background in both engineering and operations allows us to credibly represent these aspects of the light-rail system within a diverse project team and to seamlessly interface with other stakeholders, such as urban designers. This will ensure that the system is both technically and operationally efficient, while contributing to a great urban environment and a customer-focused operation.


The introduction of a light-rail system in Parramatta is a unique opportunity to bring fundamental change. This change will affect how Parramatta evolves into a second CBD for Sydney. AtkinsRéalis is proud to have contributed to a public transport system that will enhance the urban environment, connect great places and support local growth.