Passenger Rail

Gov keen for G:Link third stage after Games success

Tram stopped at Southport South on the Gold Coast Light Rail. Photo: Creative Commons / David Ansen

The Queensland Government has sounded its intention to get on with a third stage for Gold Coast Light Rail, in the aftermath of this month’s Commonwealth Games which saw 100,000 passengers a day using the network.

Survey works for a third stage began this week, with an aim to locate and identify underground services and map the reference alignment.

“There will be several surveying teams out on different parts of the corridor over the coming months,” acting Gold Coast mayor Donna Gates said.

“The survey results would be used in the detailed business case to help decide engineering design, station locations and replacement, upgrading or relocation of underground services.”

According to state transport minister, Mark Bailey, the Palaszczuk government’s decision to expand the light rail network with the second stage –  a 7.3-kilometre link between Gold Coast University Hospital and Helensvale station – was “critical” to the success of the Games.

“The tram network carried almost 100,000 passengers a day, nearly four times the normal daily average,” Bailey said.

“This would not have been possible without our unwavering commitment to this project and the fact we built it in record time.”

And now the government is in the early stages of plans for the next stage of the line, with a jointly-funded business case in partnership with the City of Gold Coast in development.

“It makes sense to plan now for this vital project, which will enhance the lifestyle and economic opportunities for the Gold Coast.,” the transport minister said.

“Light rail was designed to be delivered in stages to respond to the city’s growth and the first two stages of light rail have proven it to be a viable alternative to using the car.”

Early outlines of the third stage were released in the middle of last year. The government’s preferred option is another 7-kilometre stretch, with eight stations from Broadbeach South light rail station and Burleigh Heads and a track running down the centre of the Gold Coast Highway.

Community consultation will take place in the latter half of 2018 and be integrated into the development of the detailed business case, which Bailey said would come under government consideration in early 2019.

$10 million has gone towards the development of the detailed business case in July 2017, with the state government and the City of Gold Coast contributing $5 million each.