Federal, Industry Grants, Light Rail, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

More funds for Canberra light rail

canberra light rail

An additional $125.5 million has been contributed by the Federal Government for the Canberra light rail project.

Representatives of the Federal and ACT governments also acknowledged the signing of the major works contract for the delivery of Light Rail Stage 2A – City to Commonwealth Park.

Infrastructure Minister Catherine King said this was a significant milestone in one of the defining projects in Canberra’s history.

“Not only will the light rail extension support thousands of local jobs during its construction, it will deliver improved public transport for decades in Canberra and help shape the development of Canberra’s city centre,” she said.

Work on Stage 2A is planned to commence in late 2024. Construction and testing is expected to take approximately three years, with services commencing from January 2028.

To ensure an efficient service with the current light rail network, the Government undertook a single select procurement with Canberra Metro for the project. The total delivery phase cost for this contract is $577 million.

The project will see three new stops built at Edinburgh Avenue, City South and Commonwealth Avenue, extending the network by 1.7 kilometres – providing a greater connection between the city and the lake.

The alignment travelling along London Circuit will transform the southern part of the CBD, providing public transport to major employment and future housing precincts in City West, the ANU, City South, Acton Waterfront and Commonwealth Park. Already, there has been significant interest in ACT Government land release along the route – similar to the experience with stage 1 of the project.

Light rail to Commonwealth Park will be delivered wire-free to support National Capital Authority requirements for a future connection through the Parliamentary Triangle. In a Canberra first, the light rail corridor to Commonwealth Park will include sections of green track where the light rail line sits within a bed of specially selected grass or plants instead of concrete.

This project is jointly funded by the Australian and ACT governments on a 50:50 basis.

ACT Transport Minister Chris Steel said Stage 2A was the next step in extending Canberra’s mass transit line to provide reliable and sustainable transport to the city.

“The line extension will service the ANU, homes and businesses in City West and residential and recreational precincts at Acton Waterfront and Commonwealth Park,” he said.

“A recent survey indicates that 51 per cent of current light rail users will use at least one of the new Stage 2A light rail stops.

“The project will deliver a high quality walkable street environment for pedestrians and cyclists with improved access to public transport, reshaping the south of our CBD.”