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First Gold Coast Light Rail trams delivered

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> The first two trams for the Gold Coast’s new light rail network were delivered into Brisbane port by the ship Palabora last week. </span> <p>GoldLinQ, the consortium delivering the Gold Coast Light Rail under a $1bn 18-year public private partnership with Queensland Government, received the two trams, and is expecting delivery of 12 more in coming months.</p><p>GoldLinQ was selected to design, build, finance, operate and maintain Gold Coast Light Rail by the government in 2010.</p><p>The consortium includes:</p><ul><li>KDR Gold Coast – operations and maintenance</li><li>Bombardier Transportation Australia – design and supply of the light rail vehicles and rail systems</li><li>McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust.) – infrastructure and building works and</li><li>Plenary Group – financial arranger and commercial adviser.</li></ul><p><img alt="pic01 – the first goldlinq tram is hoisted out of the ship palabora at the port of brisbane last tuesday morning." width="500" height="333" src="" /></p><p><em>The first GoldlinQ tram is hoisted out of the ship Palabora at the Port of Brisbane last Tuesday morning.</em></p><p>The two new trams were unloaded last Tuesday after a two-month journey from Germany.</p><p>They were loaded, one after the other, onto 20-axle trucks, which transported them overnight – the first on Wednesday last week and the second on Friday, a GoldLinQ spokesperson told Rail Express.</p><p>Each tram’s journey down the M1 from Brisbane to Southport took two and a half hours.</p><p>The trams were unloaded off their respective trucks onto the new tracks at Queen Street, before being towed into the Gold Coast Light Rail depot, where they are now undergoing further commissioning.</p><p>Six more trams are already on their way from Germany and should arrive in the next few weeks, the spokesperson said. The remaining six trams will be shipped as completed, and the last should arrive in early 2014.</p><p><img alt="pic02 – the tram is lowered to a waiting trailer." width="500" height="333" src="" /></p><p><em>The first&nbsptram is lowered to a waiting trailer.</em></p><p><strong>About the trams</strong></p><p>The Bombardier Flexity 2 trams are 43m long and weigh 61 tonnes each.</p><p>They were built in Bombardier’s facilities in Bautzen, Germany, and Austria, and were loaded onto the ship at Bremen, in Germany.</p><p>A single 43m-long tram set made up of seven modules, and can carry 309 passengers safely – equivalent to six standard buses.</p><p>Unique to Gold Coast, they are the first trams in the world to have surfboard racks and the most powerful air-conditioned for this class of tram installed for Australian summers, according to GoldLinQ.</p><p>The trams use sand to gain traction. If the wheels do not grip because the rail is slippery then the tram will automatically spray a small amount of sand in front of the wheels to help it gain better traction.</p><p>GoldLinQ says it is having the trams built overseas for a combination of financial and technical reasons.</p><p>“The high cost for a manufacturer to gear up for only 14 trams was not achievable in Australia,” the spokesperson said.</p><p>“Bombardier’s facilities in Bautzen, Germany have the highly specialised expertise and equipment required to produce the trams and have over the years built more than 3000 trams for light rail systems across the globe.</p><p>“The trams also underwent speed and braking tests at various speeds on a track in Austria as well as testing in a climatic chamber up to 42 degrees Celsius and humidity of 34% for heat and air conditioning.”</p><p>When GoldLinQ operations commence in mid-2014, 12 trams will run at any one time with two in for scheduled maintenance and cleaning at the Southport Depot, which will have extensive facilities to maintain the trams.</p><p><img alt="pic03 – the first tram is taken away on a trailer, while the second goldlinq tram is hoisted out of the ship." width="500" height="333" src="" /></p><p><em>The first tram is taken away on a trailer, while the second GoldlinQ tram is hoisted out of the ship.</em></p><p><strong>About the depot</strong></p><p>More than 1700 cubic metres of concrete were poured to build the depot, creating a total floor area of 4000 square metres. It will have four tracks inside the shed for maintenance staff to work under cover.</p><p>Trams will be kept clean in the depot’s sustainable automatic wash-plant. It will use rainwater gathered from the structure’s roof and treated before being returned to any water system.</p><p>The depot is also equipped with cranes, a paint booth and sanding facilities, designed to fill the tram’s sand spray boxes.</p><p>Work area inside the shed include a three-level “workshop” – workers will be able to access the tram from underneath, at floor level and will be able to safely walk across the top of the tram from the top level.</p><p><img alt="pic04 – the first tram is backed up along queen street on the back of a 20-axle truck overnight last wednesday." width="500" height="333" src="" /></p><p><em>The first tram is backed up along Queen Street on the back of a 20-axle truck overnight last Wednesday.</em></p><p><strong>Project update</strong></p><p>More than 10 kilometres of dual track have been laid in Southport, Paradise Waters, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.</p><p>41 of the 52 intersections along the planned route have been laid with rail.</p><p>There are 11 of 16 stations under construction, over 170 Over Head Line poles have been erected, and most have been strung with wires.</p><p>Piles and concrete slab structure, almost two kilometres of rail, poles and wires are installed at the depot in Southport, and the control room for the light rail system in the depot building has been fitted with 27 television screens and other equipment.</p><p>Energisation of overhead lines in the depot and along Queen and Nerang Streets has occurred ready for testing and commissioning stage of the project.</p><p>The Nerang River light rail bridge is approximately 375 metres long and now spans the river the last bridge girders were lifted into place at the end of August.</p><p>Construction of the shared pedestrian and cycle bridge has started.</p><p>Major underground service upgrades are still progressing in areas in Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach with the majority projected to be finished by Christmas.</p><p>First operations are expected to commence midway through 2014.</p><p>Photos courtesy of GoldLinQ.</p>