G:link


G:link, also known as the Gold Coast Light Rail, is a light rail system serving the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. The system consists of a single 13-kilometre (8.1 mi), 16-station standard gauge line between Griffith University and Broadbeach.

Construction began in July 2010. On 20 July 2014 the line was open to the public.

Contents

  • History 1
    • Background 1.1
    • Political process 1.2
    • Construction 1.3
  • Operation 2
    • Rolling stock 2.1
    • Patronage 2.2
  • Stations 3
  • Future Proposals and Extensions 4
    • Extension to Helensvale 4.1
    • Proposed northern extensions 4.2
      • Southport to Parkwood 4.2.1
    • Proposed western extensions 4.3
      • Broadbeach to Nerang 4.3.1
      • Nobby Beach to Robina 4.3.2
      • Burleigh Heads to Varsity Lakes 4.3.3
    • Proposed southern extensions 4.4
      • Surfers Paradise to Bundall 4.4.1
      • Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads 4.4.2
      • Broadbeach to Coolangatta 4.4.3
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

Central reservation of Gold Coast Highway at Broadbeach in February 2014 with completed light rail line
Interior of Flexity 2 tram

Background

The Gold Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, with an annual population growth of 2 - 3%.[1] 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.[2][3] In 2004 the draft summary report was released.[4]

Political process

The proposed system had significant impact on property both directly and indirectly in the corridor. In 2009 $16.5 million was spent on property resumptions. A total of $170 million was allocated for all resumptions. The Queens Park Tennis Club and Southport Croquet Club were both relocated.[5]

In 2009 the Queensland Government committed $464 million to the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project, supplementing $365 million committed by the Australian 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]

Construction

In August 2012 the cost of the 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) light rail 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]

Operation

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. The system forms part of the South East Queensland public transport network. Fares are set by TransLink with all stations fitted with go card readers.[16]

Service frequencies (in minutes) from 21 July 2014:[17]
Weekdays Weekends
23:30 to 05:00 - 30
05:00 to 07:00 15 15
07:00 to 19:00 7.5 10
19:00 to 23:30 15 15

On Monday to Friday mornings (midnight to 5am), the light rail is replaced by Surfside Buslines route 700.[18]

The system uses standard gauge tracks with 750 V DC overhead catenary. It primarily operates in a centre running configuration. The depot is located in Southport, between Griffith University and Queen Street stations.

Rolling stock

The Gold Coast Rapid Transit fleet consists of 14 Flexity 2 trams built by Bombardier Transportation in Bautzen, Germany.[19] The trams feature low floors and have dedicated spaces for wheelchairs, prams and surfboards.[20] They have a top speed of 70 km/h and room for 309 passengers with seating for 80.[21] By November 2013 five had been delivered.[22]

Patronage

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 - an average 17,800 commuters each day.[23] In October 2015, the Queensland Government reported that an average of "more than 18,200" trips were made on the line each day and that public transport usage on the Gold Coast had increased by 25 percent in the first year of the light rail.[24]

Stations

The first stage of the system comprises a 13-kilometre (8.1 mi) line along a corridor between Griffith University and Broadbeach connecting the key activity centres of Southport and Surfers Paradise. The line has 16 stations:[25] The second stage of the system comprises a 7.3-kilometre (4.5 mi) line along a corridor between Helensvale railway station and Griffith University connecting to Parkwood. The extension has 3 stations.

Image Station Station
code
Translink Zone Distance (km) Location Locations served
Helensvale HEL 12 0 Helensvale railway station and Westfield Helensvale.
Parkwood PAR 12 0 Services the residential area. Planned heavy rail infill station.
Parkwood East PAE 12/13 0 Services the residential area.
Gold Coast University Hospital UNH 13 0 Underground station to service the Gold Coast University Hospital and the western end of Griffith University's Gold Coast campus, GCUH bus station, bus connection available to Harbour Town and Helensvale railway station
Griffith University GRU 13 0.40 Griffith University's Gold Coast campus and the 2018 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village at Parklands, bus interchange available
Depot Platform DSP N/A 1.60 Staff use only - not publicly accessible
Queen Street QUS 13 1.85 Services the residential area.
Nerang Street NES 13 3.30 Allamanda and Pacific Private Hospitals
Southport SOU 13 3.85 Australia Fair Shopping Centre, Southport Mall, Gold Coast Court House, northern end of Southport Broadwater Parklands, Central Queensland University Gold Coast campus, Southport Library, Gold Coast Institute of TAFE Southport campus and Southport bus station
Southport South SPS 13 4.50 Marine Parade, Queens Park Tennis Centre, services residential area
Broadwater Parklands BRP 13 4.85 Southern end of Southport Broadwater Parklands
Main Beach MAB 13 5.55 Tedder Avenue, McIntosh Island, Paradise Waters, The Spit
Surfers Paradise North SPN 14 7.35 Budds Beach, Narrowneck
Cypress Avenue CYP 14 7.80 Adrenalin Park, Chevron Island, bus connections available
Cavill Avenue CAA 14 8.32 Cavill Avenue shopping and nightclub area of Surfers Paradise, Nerang River Terminal, Surfers Paradise Transit Centre, Hilton Hotel, Surfers Paradise beach
Surfers Paradise SUP 14 8.85 Q1, Paradise Island
Northcliffe NOR 14 9.31 Northcliffe Surf Club, Isle of Capri
Florida Gardens FLG 14 10.05 Cascade Gardens
Broadbeach North BRN 14 11.30 Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach Mall, Jupiters Casino, Kurrawa Park, Oasis Shopping Centre
Broadbeach South BBS 14/15 12.18 Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Broadbeach Library, Broadbeach South bus station, Broadbeach beach

Future Proposals and Extensions

Extension to the existing line have been proposed, they include extending the line north to Helensvale railway station, west to Nerang railway station, and south to Coolangatta.[26]

Extension to Helensvale

Ramp built to service GCUH station and as a provision for future extension along Olsen Avenue towards Helensvale

In March 2015, the Queensland Government indicated its support for a northern extension to meet the Gold Coast railway line, subject to the Australian Government and Gold Coast City Council agreeing to help fund the extension.[27] The 7.3 km extension would run from the current northern terminus at Gold Coast University Hospital to Helensvale railway station, where interchange would be provided with Queensland Rail services to and from Brisbane. Intermediate stops would be provided at Parkwood East and Parkwood. The end-to-end journey time on the extension would be 11 min.[28] The Gold Coast City Council had proposed a route from Griffith University to Parkwood and Helensvale.[27]

Expressions of interest to construct the northern extension were called in August 2015.[29] The potential for the Australian Government to make a contribution towards funding the project increased following a leadership spill in September that saw Malcolm Turnbull replace Tony Abbott as Australian Prime Minister. Resulting discussions between the state and federal governments led the Queensland Government to believe they were "very close" to securing a federal contribution. In October, the Queensland Government requested GoldLinQ proceed to the Request for Tender stage of the procurement process.[30][31] Later in the month it was announced that funding agreements had been reached with the Australian Government and Gold Coast City Council. The federal contribution is $95 million and the council contribution $55 million.[32][24] Bids to construct the extension will close in late December 2015. Construction is expected to commence in April 2016 and the Queensland Government is seeking an assurance from bidders that the extension will be operational in time for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games - to be held in April 2018.[30][33]

Proposed northern extensions

Southport to Parkwood

In late 2012, the Gold Coast City Council released a draft of their Transport Strategy 2031. The document outlined the original line would be extended west to Parkwood and south to the Gold Coast Airport. Additional branches would be added from Griffith University to Harbour Town, from Main Beach to The Spit, from Surfers Paradise to Bundall, and from Nobby Beach to Robina.[34]

Proposed western extensions

Broadbeach to Nerang

In March 2014, it was suggested that an 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) east-west spur line from Broadbeach to Nerang railway station take the place of other suggested extensions as stage 2 of the light rail line. The Broadbeach-Nerang route would connect to the Carrara Stadium, the main stadium that will be used during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[35]

Nobby Beach to Robina

In March 2015, Gold Coast City Council commissioned Aurecon Australasia to study a possible route form Nobby Beach to Robina railway station via Robina Town Centre.[36]

Burleigh Heads to Varsity Lakes

In 2014, the state government investigated a possible extension from Burleigh Heads to Varsity Lakes railway station.[36]

Proposed southern extensions

Surfers Paradise to Bundall


Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads


Broadbeach to Coolangatta

Corridors heading south from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads and Coolangatta via Gold Coast Airport are also being looked at. This would likely be delivered in 2 stages including a segment from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads, followed by a segment from Burleigh Heads to Coolangatta.[37]

In October 2015, Gold Coast City Council discussed amending City Plan 2015 to include extending the light rail all the way to Coolangatta in a single stage.[36]

See also

References

  1. ^ Estimated Resident Population Profile.id
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  15. ^ All aboard: Gold Coast light rail officially launches with full tram cars for day of free travel Gold Coast Bulletin 20 July 2014
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Route 700 timetable Translink
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  20. ^
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  24. ^ a b
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  27. ^ a b
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  30. ^ a b
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  36. ^ a b c
  37. ^

External links

Media related to Light rail on the Gold Coast at Wikimedia Commons

  • G:link (RideTheG) – official site
  • G:link FAQ (Translink)
  • G:link Service Information (Translink)
  • GoldLinQ – consortium that built the line
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