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G:link, also known as the Gold Coast Light Rail, is a light rail system serving the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. The system forms part of the TransLink's South East Queensland public transport network and consists of a single 20-kilometre (12 mi) line of nineteen stations. Helensvale railway station is the northern terminus of the system, while Broadbeach South is the southern terminus. The line opened on 20 July 2014 and was extended northwest from Gold Coast University Hospital to Helensvale on 17 December 2017.

G:link
Glink logo.png
GCLR Set 9 at Broadwater Parklands 2014-09-28.jpg
A Flexity 2 leaving Broadwater Parklands
Overview
LocaleGold Coast, Australia (Map)
Transit typeLight rail
Number of lines1
Number of stations19
Daily ridership21,000[1]
Chief executivePhil Mumford
HeadquartersSouthport
Websitehttps://ridetheg.com.au
Operation
Began operation20 July 2014
Operator(s)Keolis Downer
Number of vehicles18 Flexity 2 trams
Train length43.5 m (143 ft)
Headway7-30 minutes
Technical
System length20 km (12 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification750 V DC Catenary
Average speed27 km/h (17 mph)
Top speed70 km/h (43 mph)

BackgroundEdit

The Gold Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, with an annual population growth of 2 - 3%.[2] The project was first proposed in the Gold Coast City Council Transport Plan 1996 after some years of consideration and review. In 2002 the Queensland and Federal Governments each contributed $650,000 to fund the Gold Coast Light Rail Feasibility Study.[3][4] In 2004 the draft summary report was released.[5]

HistoryEdit

Stage 1 - Broadbeach South - Gold Coast University HospitalEdit

 
View of the line from the Q1 building

In 2009 the Queensland Government committed $464 million to the Gold Coast Rapid Transit (GCRT) project, supplementing $365 million committed by the Federal Government and $120 million provided by Gold Coast City Council.[6]

In June 2011 the GoldLinq consortium comprising Bombardier Transportation, Downer EDI, Keolis, McConnell Dowell and Plenary Group was awarded the contract to build and operate the Gold Coast light rail line for 18 years under a Public Private Partnership.[7][8][9]

In August 2012 the cost of the initial 13-kilometre (8.1 mi) section was estimated at $1.6 billion.[10]

Construction began on the Gold Coast University Hospital station shell in July 2010.[11] In late 2010, early roadworks began in Broadbeach and Southport.[12]

By November 2013 much of the work was complete with the southern section at Broadbeach being the only section of trackwork to be completed. Testing commenced on the northern section of the line in October 2013. The line opened on 20 July 2014, with a free travel day, before normal operations began on 21 July.[13][14][15]

The system had significant impact on property both directly and indirectly in the corridor. A total of $170 million was allocated for property resumptions. The Queens Park Tennis Club and Southport Croquet Club were both relocated.[16]

Stage 2 - HelensvaleEdit

 
Gold Coast University Hospital, the original northern terminus and the only underground station in the system.

After the successful opening and operations of Stage 1, the Queensland Government announced in February 2016 with plans to extend the light rail line from the University Hospital to the Helensvale railway station, providing a connection with the Gold Coast railway line that connects the city with Brisbane, the state capital for Queensland. Financial commitment from the state and federal governments needed to progress with the extension was finalised in late 2016.[17] The new extension includes 7.3 kilometers tracks and 3 new light rail stations, with Helensvale being the new northern terminus for the line. Construction commenced in 2016[18] with plans to be completed in time for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April 2018. Construction finished early, ahead of schedule with passenger services commencing in December 2017.


ExtensionEdit

The Queensland Government in conjunction with the Gold Coast City Council and the Australian Government have announced their intension to extend the light rail 6.5 kilometers south to Burleigh Heads. Stage 3A to Burleigh Heads is in the early planning stages with completion estimated to be 2023. Stage 3B to Coolangatta is expected to commence after the extension to Burleigh Heads is completed.

Stage 3A - Burleigh HeadsEdit

Flythrough animation of stage 3A

A new 6.4 kilometre southern extension of the light rail line from the existing Broadbeach South station to Burleigh Heads is planned with the Queensland State Government and City of Gold Coast and Federal Government have all put in for the $670 million project. The initial Preliminary Business Case was completed in February 2018 that proposes a new line that would connect Burleigh Heads with Broadbeach. Eight new light rail stations are proposed with Burleigh Heads being the new southern terminus for the line. It is estimated that the Burleigh Heads extension will cost approximately $670 million[19] with construction commencing in 2020 and taking three years to complete. In November 2019, the federal government committed the remaining funds to get the project underway.[20][21] [22]

Proposed stationsEdit

The six proposed light rail stations listed below have been confirmed by the Queensland Government and will follow the same design elements as the current stations.

Mermaid BeachEdit

The new station will serve the heart of Mermaid Beach, located on the corner of Gold Coast Highway and Crescent Avenue. Nearby locations include the Pacific Square retail precinct and the beach being only a short walk away.

Mermaid Beach SouthEdit

Mermaid Beach South will be located on the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Tamborine Avenue. The station will be in close to a number of holiday resorts as well residential dwellings.

Nobby BeachEdit

The proposed station will be situated between Albicore Street and Dolphin Avenue on the Gold Coast Highway. Nobby's Beach station will directly service the Nobby's Beach retail precinct with the beach being only a short walk away.

Miami NorthEdit

Miami North will service the northern Miami and the Miami State High School. The station will be located on the corner of Paradise Ave and the Gold Coast Highway.

MiamiEdit

This proposed station will be built on the corner of Hythe Street and the Gold Coast Highway, servicing the Miami Beach and a number of holiday resorts.

Christine AvenueEdit

As the name suggest the station will be located on the corner of Christine Avenue and the Gold Coast Highway, on the southern side of Miami. Christine Ave will service a number of retail and dining venues as well as the North Burleigh Surf Beach

Second Avenue BurleighEdit

This station will be located on the northern side of Burleigh Heads on he corner of Second Avenue and the Gold Coast Highway. A number of holidays resorts are a short walk away as well as the Burleigh Heads State School.

Burleigh HeadsEdit

Burleigh Heads will be the new southern terminus of the Gold Coast Light Rail. The station will be located on Goodwin Terrace and he Gold Coast Highway and directly services the Burleigh Heads retail and dinning precinct of James Street as well as Memorial Park, Justins Park, Burleigh Heads National Park and the Burleigh Heads Surf Beach. The station will offer bus connections to Varsity Lakes railway station and southern suburbs including the Gold Coast Airport.


RouteEdit

Map

The single 20-kilometre (12 mi) line runs from Helensvale railway station to Broadbeach South. Beginning at Helensvale railway station, the line runs parallel to the Gold Coast railway line until it meets the Smith Street Motorway, which it then follows, stopping at Parkwood and Parkwood East. The next two stops serve the Gold Coast University Hospital and the Gold Coast campus of Griffith University. The line runs south, passing over the Smith Street Motorway and the depot before reaching Queen Street station and Nerang Street station that services the Southport medical precinct. The next two stops serve the Australia Fair Shopping Centre, and the following stop serves the Broadwater Parklands. The line passes over the Nerang River before reaching the only stop in Main Beach, which serves the Sea World theme park. The next stops are Surfers Paradise North and Cypress Avenue, the later serving the Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre and the Funtime amusement park. The next stop, Cavill Avenue serves the heart of Surfers Paradise including the Cavill Avenue pedestrian mall and Paradise Centre shopping centre. The following station services the Q1 residential tower as well as the SkyPoint observation deck. The next stops are Northcliffe, Florida Gardens and Broadbeach North, the later serving the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, The Star Gold Coast, the Oasis Shopping Centre and the Oracle Shopping Centre. The line terminates at Broadbeach South which serves Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and provides bus connections to southern suburbs as well as the Gold Coast Airport. It takes around 44 minutes to travel from one end of the line to the other.

There are nineteen stations on the line. One station is located in Helensvale, two are in Parkwood, seven are in Southport, one is in Main Beach, six are in Surfers Paradise, and two are in Broadbeach. All but one of the stations are street-level open-air structures with passenger canopies on the platforms. The Gold Coast University Hospital station is underground. Eleven stations have side platforms and eight have an island platform. Eight of the stations have kiosks on the platforms. Seven stations offer transfers to bus services and Helensvale also offers transfers to train services. Two of the stations have free park and ride lots with a total of 1,400 new parking spaces.[23][24] The most heavily trafficked station is Cavill Avenue, with an average 4,729 daily passengers in February 2016.[1]

InfrastructureEdit

The system uses standard gauge tracks with 750 V DC overhead catenary. It primarily operates in a centre running configuration.

Rolling stockEdit

The Gold Coast Rapid Transit fleet consists of 18 Flexity 2 trams built by Bombardier Transportation in Germany.[25] The trams feature low floors and have dedicated spaces for wheelchairs, prams and surfboards.[26] They have a top speed of 70 km/h and room for 309 passengers with seating for 80.[27] Fourteen trams were ordered to serve the original section of the line. Four additional trams were ordered in November 2015 to service the Helensvale extension.[28] These were delivered in September and October 2017.[29]

 
Interior of Flexity 2 tram

OperationEdit

Services are operated by Keolis Downer, a joint venture between Keolis and Downer Rail. Keolis Downer has operated Yarra Trams in Melbourne since November 2009. It is claimed that the system can move up to 10,000 people an hour. Fares are set by TransLink with all stations fitted with go card readers.[30] TransLink charges fares that increase as passengers travel through eight concentric zones radiating outward from the Brisbane central business district;[31] All G:link stations are located within zone 5.

Service frequencies (in minutes) from 17 December 2017:[32]

Weekdays Weekends
00:00 to 05:00 Closed 30†
05:00 to 07:00 15 15
07:00 to 19:00 7.5 10
19:00 to 23:30 15 15

No service between Helensvale station and Gold Coast University Hospital

On Monday to Friday mornings (midnight to 5am), light rail services are replaced on most of the route by Surfside Buslines route 700.[33] These buses do not service the section between Helensvale station and Gold Coast University Hospital.[32]

Over 1.74 million passengers used the Gold Coast Light Rail in its first 100 days after opening. More than five million paid trips were made in the first nine months of operation.[34] 6.6 million passengers were carried on the line in its first year, and total public transport usage on the Gold Coast - across buses and trams - increased by 25 percent.[35][36] In February 2016 the Queensland Government announced the ten million passenger milestone had been reached and noted that Cavill Avenue was the busiest station with 4,729 boardings a day.[37]

The following table lists patronage figures for the network during the corresponding financial year. Australia's financial years start on 1 July and end on 30 June. Major events that affected the number of journeys made or how patronage is measured are included as notes.

G:link patronage by financial year
Year 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Patronage
(millions)
6.28
[a]
7.68 7.97 9.49
[b][c]
Reference [38] [39] [40] [41]
 
  1. ^ System opened in July 2014
  2. ^ Helensvale extension opened in December 2017
  3. ^ Commonwealth Games held in April 2018

Potential extensionsEdit

Stage 3Edit

The Gold Coast City Council supports the expansion of the existing network south to the Gold Coast Airport and Coolangatta to create a fully integrated transport network for the Gold Coast. Stage 3A to Burleigh Heads is in the early planning stages with construction expected to start in 2020 and stage 3B to Coolangatta expected to commence after the extension to Burleigh Heads is completed.

Stage 3B - Coolangatta and AirportEdit

The Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031 supports a future expansion to Coolangatta via the Gold Coast Airport.[42] The 14 kilometre extension of the light rail line from the proposed Burleigh Heads station would continue south along the Gold Coast Highway, passing through the southern suburbs of Palm Beach and Tugun before terminating at the Airport. A potential light rail corridor has also been identified from the Airport to Coolangatta and will be preserved for a potential future expansion.[43] Stage 3B will not take place until after stage 3A is completed to Burleigh Heads.

Future expansion proposalsEdit

Beside Stage 3 the Gold Coast City Council envisions an extensive light rail network that would potentially consist of 68 kilometres of track and 4 light rail lines as outlined in the City Transport Strategy 2031. Future extension however are not expected to take place until after stage 3 is fully completed and further feasibility studies are undertaken.

Main Beach and The SpitEdit

A branch line from Main Beach to The Spit was proposed in the Gold Coast City Council's 2031 transport plan, City Transport Strategy 2031.[44] The council announced a number of potential route options in April 2017 and invited public comment.[45] The line is expected to cost around $200 million and would be paid for by developers and would be around 2.6 kilometres long. The time frame for construction remains undecided but is not expected to be completed until after the extension to the Gold Coast Airport.[46]

Biggera WatersEdit

The Gold Coast's council 2031 Transport plan published outlines a possible extension to Biggera Waters.[47] The proposed line would branch off from the existing University Hospital light rail station, travelling north before terminating at Harbour Town Shopping Centre in the suburb of Biggera Waters. It is not expected for the line to be completed until after the extension to the Gold Coast Airport.

BundallEdit

The Gold Coast's council 2031 Transport plan published outlines a possible extension to Bundall.[48] The proposed line would branch off from Cavill Avenue, travelling west for several kilometres before terminating in the suburb of Bundall. Stations may include Chevron Island, HOTA, Bundall Business District and Gold Coast Turf Club. It is not expected for the line to be completed until after the extension to the Gold Coast Airport.

NerangEdit

The Gold Coast's council 2031 Transport plan published outlines a possible extension to the Nerang.[49] The proposed line would spur off from Broadbeach, travelling west along Hooker Boulevard and north along Nerang–Broadbeach Road before terminating at the Nerang railway station. Stations would include Mermaid Waters, Carrara Markets and Carrara Stadium.

RobinaEdit

A 9 kilometre Robina extension is proposed in the Gold Coast City Council's Light Rail southern Gold Coast publication.[50] The proposed extension would branch off from Nobbys Beach and terminate at Robina railway station passing through Bond University, Market Square, Christine Corner and Robina Town Centre. It is not expected for the line to be completed until after the extension to the Gold Coast Airport.

Varsity LakesEdit

The Light Rail southern Gold Coast published by the Gold Coast City Council also outline a proposal extension to Varsity Lakes[51] from Burleigh Heads. The extension would branch out from Burleigh Heads and follow Burleigh Connection Road, passing by Stocklands, Burleigh Heads Shopping Centre and the light industrial areas of West Burleigh before terminating at Varsity Lakes railway station, providing a heavy rail connection. It is not expected for the line to be completed until after the extension to the Gold Coast Airport

Tweed HeadsEdit

On 19 February 2019, Tweed Heads MP Geoff Provest announced $1 million of funding towards strategic planning to extend the Gold Coast light rail system from the Gold Coast Airport to over the New South Wales border into Tweed Heads.[52]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Skene, Kathleen (5 February 2016). "Gold Coast light rail hits 10 million tram passenger mark as tender announcement nears for stage two". The Gold Coast Bulletin. News Corp Australia. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  2. ^ Estimated Resident Population Archived 14 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Profile.id
  3. ^ "Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study". City of Gold Coast. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Gold Coast Light Rail Feasibility". Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development. 14 May 2002. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Gold Coast Light Rail Feasibility Study" (PDF). Parsons Brinckerhoff. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  6. ^ Chambers, Geoff (14 February 2010). "Chinese in Gold Coast's rapid transit mix". Gold Coast Bulletin. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  7. ^ "GoldLinQ Selected for Gold Coast Light Rail". Plenary Group (Press release). 5 May 2011. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  8. ^ "GoldlinQ selected to build Gold Coast light rail". Railway Gazette International. 6 May 2011. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  9. ^ "GoldLinQ wins £657M Australian rail project". New Civil Engineer. 9 May 2011. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  10. ^ Stolz, Greg; Vogler, Sarah (8 August 2012). "Court bid to halt $1.6 billion Gold Coast light rail project". Herald Sun. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Light rail work starts this month". Gold Coast Bulletin. 4 July 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  12. ^ Gold Coast Rapid Transit. Queensland Government. June 2011.
  13. ^ "First test tram run in Southport". GoldLinQ. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Works updates". GoldLinQ. 4 December 2013.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ All aboard: Gold Coast light rail officially launches with full tram cars for day of free travel Archived 28 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine Gold Coast Bulletin 20 July 2014
  16. ^ Chambers, Geoff (24 December 2009). "Flurry of Coast rapid transit resumptions". Gold Coast Bulletin. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  17. ^ "Financial close achieved for Stage 2 of Gold Coast Light Rail". Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2". www.tmr.qld.gov.au. corporateName=Department of Transport and Main Roads; jurisdiction=Queensland; sector=government. 13 July 2016. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  19. ^ Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A. Gold Coast, Australia: City of Gold Coast. 2018.
  20. ^ Payne, Kirstin (5 November 2018). "Gold Coast light rail stage 3A: $112m funding committed to Broadbeach to Burleigh tram extension". Gold Coast Bulletin. Gold Coast. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  21. ^ Gold Coast LRT Stage 3A funding pledged Metro Report International 5 November 2018
  22. ^ sector=government, corporateName=Department of Transport and Main Roads; jurisdiction=Queensland; (4 December 2019). "Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A". www.tmr.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 8 December 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  23. ^ Moore, Tony (7 August 2015). "Gold Coast light rail stage two and Brisbane link unveiled". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Gold Coast light rail Stage 2 contractor selected". Railway Gazette International. 21 March 2016. Archived from the original on 26 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  25. ^ "GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford inspects construction of first tram in Germany". GoldLinkQ. 14 September 2012. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  26. ^ "The tram". GoldLinkQ. 14 November 2013. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  27. ^ Silva, Kristian (20 September 2013). "Gold Coast trams unveiled". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  28. ^ "Record of Proceedings (proof) First Session of the Fifty-fifth Parliament Thursday, 12 November 2015" (PDF). Queensland Parliament. 12 November 2015. p. 2826. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  29. ^ New trams arrive for Gold Coast light rail Archived 7 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine Rail Express 26 September 2017
  30. ^ "Gold Coast Light Rail Fare Cost". Gold Coast Light Rail. Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  31. ^ "Zones". TransLink. Queensland Government. 2016. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Route 700 timetable". TransLink. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  33. ^ Tony Moore (6 May 2015). "Five million people jump on board Gold Coast Light Rail since July 2014". brisbane times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  34. ^ "Short list named for Gold Coast light rail Stage 2". GoldLinQ. 1 October 2015. Archived from the original on 9 February 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  35. ^ "Key statistics". gclrstage2.com. Goldlinq. Archived from the original on 25 May 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  36. ^ Skene, Kathleen (6 February 2016). "Gold Coast light rail hits 10 million tram passenger mark as tender announcement nears for stage two". Gold Coast Bulletin.
  37. ^ "TMR Annual Report 2014-15 Appendix 2 – Performance statements 2014-15". Department of Transport and Main Roads. Archived from the original on 15 December 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  38. ^ "TMR Annual Report – Appendix 2 – Performance statements 2015–16" (PDF). Department of Transport and Main Roads. p. 255. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  39. ^ "Department of Transport and Main Roads Annual Report 2016–17" (PDF). Department of Transport and Main Roads. p. 221. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  40. ^ "Department of Transport and Main Roads Annual Report 2017–18 - Appendix 2 – Performance Statements 2017–18" (PDF). Department of Transport and Main Roads. p. 242. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  41. ^ Services, corporateName=Planning, Environment & Transport | City Transport | Web. "Light rail". www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  42. ^ Services, corporateName=Planning, Environment & Transport | City Transport | Web. "Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031". www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au. Archived from the original on 15 April 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  43. ^ "Draft Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031" (PDF). City of Gold Coast. 2012. pp. 6, 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  44. ^ "Light Rail - Main Beach to The Spit". Gold Coast City Council. Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  45. ^ Pierce, Jeremy (2 April 2017). "First look at Gold Coast's planned $200m light rail extension to The Spit". The Courier Mail.
  46. ^ Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031. City of Gold Coast. p. 19.
  47. ^ Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031. City of Gold Coast. p. 19.
  48. ^ Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031. City of Gold Coast. p. 19.
  49. ^ Light Rail Southern Gold Coast. Gold Coast, Australia: City of Gold Coast. p. 3.
  50. ^ Light Rail Southern Gold Coast. Gold Coast, Australia: City of Gold Coast. p. 4.
  51. ^ Cross border light rail from Tweed to Coolangatta

External linksEdit