The Stage 2 of the Gold Coast light rail line in the Australian state of Queensland has been officially opened to passengers ahead of schedule.
For the first time, Gold Coast residents and Australia’s public transport users can travel by tram from Broadbeach to Helensvale station to connect with heavy rail services to Brisbane and beyond.
The Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 included three additional stations and two park ‘n’ rides offering 1,400 commuter parking spaces. There is also a provision for two future stations between Parkwood and Helensvale.
Work on Stage 2 began in July 2016 after the appointment of CPB Contractors as GoldlinQ’s design and construction partner.
The Gold Coast Light Rail – Stage 2 project has been funded by the Australian government ($95m), the Queensland government ($270m) and Gold Coast City Council ($55m).
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said that the $420m, 7.3km extension has been delivered in time for the Commonwealth Games after an 18-month construction programme.
Ms Trad said: “It is fantastic to be standing here several months out from the Games and see the community already benefitting from this city-building infrastructure.
“Light rail on the Gold Coast is a resounding success and the extended tram system will help ease congestion now and into the future as the city continues to grow.
“These benefits will be even further enhanced by Cross River Rail, our number one infrastructure project, which will deliver faster, more frequent services on the Gold Coast Line.”
Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said: “The newly opened Stage 2 corridor will provide a reliable, affordable and convenient connection with the wider South East Queensland rail network.”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said: “The light rail now links many key locations throughout the city, including retail, employment, education, residential and tourist areas.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said: “Over the past 18 months, many locals have benefited from construction jobs and we can now see new homes being built along the corridor, which ensures ongoing opportunities for employment.
“The G:link system is a great example of the three levels of government coming together to deliver transport infrastructure that benefits the entire community.”