Light Rail, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Rolling stock & Rail Vehicle Design

New trams for Gold Coast light rail

Gold Coast trams

Five new trams have arrived on the Gold Coast as construction continues on the $1.2 billion Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 expansion, extending the route to Burleigh Heads.

The additions take the light rail fleet to 23, and comes as the service surpassed 73 million paid passenger trips since its opening in 2014.

G:link is the only public transport mode in the state to regularly exceed pre-COVID patronage levels, demonstrating strong demand from the community and tourists.

Light rail has transformed public transport on the Gold Coast, helping to create an integrated network that connects more people to more places in one of Australia’s fastest growing cities.

The five new light rail vehicles made the journey by sea to Port of Brisbane before being transported down the M1 on a 76-wheel trailer.

They will now undergo testing at the Southport depot before being absorbed into the current operational fleet.

The five new trams will feature enhanced accessibility elements, including double accessible spaces, braille signs, 20 priority seats on every tram and vertical handrails have been shifted to create wider passageways for wheelchairs, prams, walkers and other mobility aids.

Major construction for Stage 3 is underway on the Gold Coast Highway as John Holland upgrades and relocates essential underground utilities. Track laying will begin in 2024 for completion in 2025.

Stage 3 construction is expected to directly support more than 760 local jobs.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said light rail on the growing Gold Coast had been a major success, so it was an exciting time to see the new trams in action.

“We have always driven construction of the light rail and the outstanding patronage figures show how much Gold Coasters love it,” she said.

“The light rail is a key piece in the Gold Coast’s transport puzzle in providing a quick and convenient travel to study, health and shopping hubs.

“As the network continues to grow and connect to even more iconic Gold Coast destinations, we are confident more people will get on board.”

Federal infrastructure minister Catherine King said the demand for public transport on the Gold Coast would only grow as the population does, and it’s clear that light rail had been strongly embraced by the community.

“With the Gold Coast’s status as a domestic and international tourism must-see, this project is a prime example of the Australian Government’s 10-year $120 billion infrastructure pipeline, delivering nation-shaping projects with national significance,” she said.

Queensland transport minister Mark Bailey said the Government was continuing to work on a business case for light rail stage 4 to continue growing the network with a connection to the airport.