Newcastle’s Light Rail will officially hit the tracks on Monday the 18th of February.

The Transport Minister announced the date on Thursday morning, with a free community day set down for the Sunday the 17th.

“From Monday 18 February, Novocastrians will have a new way to get around the city with frequent light rail services running from 5am to 1am daily, Mr Constance said.

“The NSW Government is hosting a community open day before the service officially starts as a way to say thank-you for people’s tolerance during construction, and to give them an opportunity to experience Newcastle Light Rail free of charge.

“The open day will be one big celebration, with something for all ages and tastes at unique events near each of Newcastle Light Rail’s six stops.

“Light rail will run throughout the event, allowing people to venture from stop to stop, exploring the city in a completely new way.”

The network operator Keolis Downer says it will have “boots on the ground” to iron out any issues in the first few days.