Gold Coast railway line

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Gold Coast railway line
Gold Coast railway line.jpg
Railway south of Ormeau station, 2014
Type Commuter rail
System Citytrain
Status Operational
Locale Gold Coast
Termini Bowen Hills
Varsity Lakes
Stations 16
Opening 1996
Owner QR
Operator(s) QR
Track gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Route map
Alt=Line route
Scrubby Creek crossing at Kingston, 2013
Varsity Lakes railway station is the terminus for the line
Altandi railway station is the only non-inner city stop within the City of Brisbane.

The Gold Coast railway line is an interurban railway line operated by QR Citytrain in Queensland, Australia, connecting Brisbane with the Gold Coast. This line carries the biggest inter-city commuter traffic in Australia with 26,000 workers commuting each day to Brisbane.[1][not in citation given]


The Beenleigh railway line opened in 1885[2] before being extended as the South Coast Line to Southport in 1889.[3] A branch line to Tweed Heads, New South Wales was opened in 1903. Due to the increasing popularity of the motor car, and political interests in road transport, the Tweed Heads branch closed in 1961 and the line from Beenleigh to Southport closed in 1964.

The new Gold Coast railway opened on a different alignment from Beenleigh to Helensvale in 1996, Nerang in 1997, and Robina in 1998. In 2009, the line was extended to Varsity Lakes.[4]


The Gold Coast (Varsity Lakes) railway line is an extension of the Beenleigh line. Trains travel express between Park Road and Beenleigh stations, with limited stops (currently at Altandi and Loganlea) on the Beenleigh railway line. Most trains from the Gold Coast run through to Brisbane Airport, allowing tourists and locals access to more international destinations than from the Gold Coast's own airport.

Prior to 20 January 2014, services on the Gold Coast Line travelled express between South Bank and Beenleigh, stopping only at Park Road, Coopers Plains and Loganlea during off-peak hours.

Line extension plans[edit]

The South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program of the Bligh Labor government included a proposal to extend the line to the Coolangatta Airport terminal over the next decade or so. The Newman LNP government's "Connecting SEQ2031" infrastructure plan confirms that commitment.

The proposed alignment parallels the Pacific Motorway before passing under the threshold of runway 32 at the Gold Coast Airport and looping around to the terminus, near the airport carpark. Under the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program, land reservations were proposed for possible new infill stations between Beenleigh and Ormeau (Yatala is a prime candidate) and at Pimpama, Coomera North, Helensvale North, Parkwood and Merrimac on the existing line. The position of the Newman government on those plans is unclear. Track duplication of the Coomera - Helensvale section and further triplication north of Beenleigh have also been proposed.[5] The cost of extending the line to the airport has been costed at around $2.8 billion.

In 2011, construction commenced on the Gold Coast Rapid Transit System which will be a light rail system connecting Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Southport, with planned future extensions connecting with trains at Helensvale railway station and Gold Coast Airport.

Line guide, frequency and services[edit]

Typical service frequency on the Gold Coast railway line are two trains per hour, increasing to five trains per hour in peak periods, and reduces to one train per hour after 9pm. Gold Coast services generally run express between Beenleigh railway station and Park Road railway station,[6] with stops at Loganlea Station and Altandi Station. The typical travel time between Robina and Brisbane City is approximately 76 minutes (to Central).

Most services generally continue as the Airtrain service to Brisbane Airport, stopping at the International and Domestic terminals.

Passengers for/from the Beenleigh line change at either Beenleigh, Loganlea or Altandi, Cleveland line at Park Road, Ipswich/Rosewood lines at Roma Street and all other lines at Central.

Shortcomings were exposed by unexpectedly high passenger take-up during the construction of the Pacific Motorway, exacerbated by the extension of the service to Brisbane Airport while failing to provide for the additional passengers' baggage. Further seating and baggage capacity was lost due to refitting of carriages under disabled access requirements. Before a 2010 upgrade in peak-services, previously many peak-hour commuters had to stand for much of the 70 minute journey.[7]

In 2010, services on the line was found to be the most delayed in the state.[8] Delays were caused by a number of factors including signal failure and severe weather conditions.

Gold Coast railway line
showing distance from Central, ticket zone, and connecting or nearby bus services
Airtrain, Caboolture, Doomben, Ferny Grove, Nambour and Gympie North, Shorncliffe lines
2.7 km Bowen Hills(1)
Exhibition line
1.3 km Fortitude Valley(1)
0.0 km CENTRAL(1)
0.8 km Roma Street(1)
Exhibition line
Ipswich, Rosewood lines
Pacific Motorway
Brisbane River
2.6 km South Brisbane(1)
3.5 km South Bank(1)
5.1 km Park Road(1/2)
Follows Beenleigh line
18.6 km Altandi(3/4)
Follows Beenleigh line
32.2km Loganlea(6)
Follows Beenleigh line
40 km Beenleigh(7/8)
Albert River
Pacific Motorway
52.7 km Ormeau(9)
59.5 km Coomera(10)
Coomera River
Saltwater Creek
68.2 km Helensvale(12)
Smith Street Motorway
Nerang River
75.9 km Nerang(13)
85.35 km Robina(15)
89.4 km VARSITY LAKES(16)
Tallebudgera (Proposed)
Elanora (Proposed)
Coolangatta (Proposed)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (13 August 2013). The Gold Coast’s seductive lifestyle underpins rise of extreme commuting. Media release. KPMG. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Brisbane Suburb: Mount Gravatt - History of Mount Gravatt". 2000. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2008. 
  3. ^ "The Southport Railway". The Brisbane Courier. 25 January 1889. p. 6. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Stolz, Greg (14 December 2009). "Robina-Varsity Lakes rail extension state's most expensive". The Courier-Mail (1 ed.). p. 12. Archived from the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Andrew Potts (19 October 2011). "Heavy cost for rail line to Coast airport". Gold Coast Sun (News Limited). Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Gold Coast Line timetable - Monday 20 January 2014
  7. ^ Potts, Andrew (3 December 2007). "All aboard the Bombay express". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  8. ^ Matthew Killoran (5 March 2010). "Gold Coast tops state for train delays". (News Limited). Retrieved 30 May 2012. 

External links[edit]