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Mon September 21 2020

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New light rail route trials ‘green track’

4 Aug A trial section of the AU$2.4bn (£1.3bn) Parramatta Light Rail route in Australia has been planted with grass.

Two different grasses are being tested on a stretch of ‘green track’ as part of the project, which will connect Westmead to Carlingford via Parramatta in New South Wales.

Minister for transport Andrew Constance said the first piece of green track, which involves planting between and beside the tracks, has been laid in Rosehill as part of a 12-month prototype testing process.

“We’re employing the latest research and technology to embrace grass track as an aesthetic and sustainable urban design solution,” he said. “Green track looks great and is good for the environment, so it’s exciting to see how it will take shape in the public domain.”

Green track will feature in the Cumberland Hospital heritage precinct, Robin Thomas Reserve and Tramway Avenue, creating up to 1km of landscaped light rail.

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The 12-metre long prototype will trial two different grasses to test their growth rate and durability, as well as experiment with soil layers and depths.

Parramatta Light Rail programme director Anand Thomas said the trial will help identify how green track will perform along the alignment and is part of Transport for NSW’s plan to help ‘green’ Parramatta, including at least 3,500 new trees to create shade in some of the region’s hottest streets.

“Green track contributes to increased biodiversity, noise reduction and urban cooling which are great outcomes for the people who live and work in the local area,” said Thomas. “This trial will enable us to see which grass type and irrigation system will be most suitable for our existing local landscapes, parks and streets.”

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