New trams are arriving in Queensland, as part of the final preparations for the opening of Stage Two of the Gold Coast Light Rail early next year.
Two trams arrived at the Port of Brisbane after making a six-week, 14,000 nautical mile sea journey from Europe, where they were built. They will be followed by a further two trams which are still at sea, and which will arrive in October.
These four new vehicles will bring the G:Link fleet size to 18 trams.
For the delivery of the trams to the Gold Coast network, which took place during the night, light rail services were suspended, and replacement bus services ran from 10pm on Monday 25 September until early the next morning.
The 60-tonne, 43-metre 309-person capacity trams (Flexity 2 models), provide space for wheelchairs, prams and luggage, and 80 priority seats.
The G:Link trams are also reportedly the only trams in the world to have surfboard racks.
“[This is] something so unique and synonymous with the wonderful vibe on the Gold Coast, and the cabin front was specially designed to include a wave motif as part of the driver cabin windows,” state transport minister Jackie Trad said.
“This is an exciting time and all measures are being taken to ensure this process runs smoothly.”
Tram testing on the new 7.3-kilometre light rail extension between Gold Coast University Hospital and Helensvale station has been underway since early September and will be carried out over the following months to ensure the system is safe prior to the commencement of passenger services.
Trad said the new trams would join the testing process as soon as possible.
“It will also give our drivers the chance to familiarise themselves with the new 7.3-kilometre extension over the coming months,” she said.
“I look forward to seeing the first passengers on board once all tram testing and commissioning is complete. We are firmly on track to deliver Stage 2 ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”