G:link

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G:link
Glink logo.png
GCLR Set 9 at Broadwater Parklands 2014-09-28.jpg
A Flexity 2 leaving the Broadwater Parklands stop
Overview
Locale Gold Coast, Australia
Transit type Light rail
Number of lines 1
Number of stations 16
Chief executive Phil Mumford
Headquarters Southport
Operation
Began operation 20 July 2014
Operator(s) Keolis Downer
Number of vehicles 14 Flexity 2 trams
Train length 43.5 m (143 ft)
Headway 7-30 minutes
Technical
System length 13 km (8.1 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Average speed 23 km/h (14 mph)
Top speed 70 km/h (43 mph)
System map
Gold Coast University Hospital
Griffith University
Smith Street Motorway
Depot
Queen Street
Gold Coast Hospital
Southport
Southport South
Broadwater Parklands
Nerang River
Main Beach
Surfers Paradise North
Cypress Avenue
Cavill Avenue
Surfers Paradise
Northcliffe
Florida Gardens
Broadbeach North
Broadbeach South

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 Gold Coast University Hospital and Broadbeach. Construction began in July 2010. On 20 July 2014 the line was open to the public.

A 7.3-kilometre (4.5 mi) northern extension from the hospital to Helensvale railway station was announced in 2015.

History[edit]

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

Background[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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] Four additional trams of the same design were ordered in November 2015 to service the Helensvale extension.[22] Delivery of these trams is due to begin in August 2017.[23]

Patronage[edit]

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 trips per day.[24] 6.6 million passengers were carried on the line in its first year - an average 18,200 trips per day. Total public transport usage on the Gold Coast increased by 25 percent during the period. In the second year of operations - to the beginning of October 2015 - the average number of daily trips was 20,281.[25]

The ten million passenger milestone was reached in February 2016. The Queensland Government stated that Cavill Avenue was the busiest station with 4729 boardings a day.[26]

Stations[edit]

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:[27]

Image Station Station
code
Translink Zone Distance (km) Location Locations served
GCUH Glink Station.jpg Gold Coast University Hospital UNH 13 0 27°57′38″S 153°22′50″E / 27.960595°S 153.380635°E / -27.960595; 153.380635 (Gold Coast University Hospital LR station) 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 GoldLinQ station.jpg Griffith University GRU 13 0.40 27°57′47″S 153°23′04″E / 27.96312°S 153.384440°E / -27.96312; 153.384440 (Griffith University LR station) 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 27°58′05″S 153°23′29″E / 27.968139°S 153.391402°E / -27.968139; 153.391402 (LR Depot Platform) Staff use only - not publicly accessible
Queen Street (Southport) Light Rail Stop.jpg Queen Street QUS 13 1.85 27°58′13″S 153°23′39″E / 27.97015°S 153.394172°E / -27.97015; 153.394172 (Queen Street LR station) Services the residential area.
Nerang Street NES 13 3.30 27°58′14″S 153°24′31″E / 27.97051°S 153.408749°E / -27.97051; 153.408749 (Nerang Street LR Station) Allamanda and Pacific Private Hospitals
Gold Coast Light Rail - Southport Station.jpg Southport SOU 13 3.85 27°58′04″S 153°24′49″E / 27.967793°S 153.413597°E / -27.967793; 153.413597 (Southport LR Station) 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
GCLR Set 1 at Southport South 2014-09-28.jpg Southport South SPS 13 4.50 27°58′22″S 153°24′56″E / 27.972754°S 153.415599°E / -27.972754; 153.415599 (Southport South LR Station) Marine Parade, Queens Park Tennis Centre, services residential area
Gold Coast Light Rail - Broadwater Parklands Station.jpg Broadwater Parklands BRP 13 4.85 27°58′25″S 153°25′07″E / 27.973587°S 153.418627°E / -27.973587; 153.418627 (Broadwater Parklands LR Station) Southern end of Southport Broadwater Parklands
Gold Coast Light Rail - Main Beach Station.jpg Main Beach MAB 13 5.55 27°58′55″S 153°25′24″E / 27.981858°S 153.42325°E / -27.981858; 153.42325 (Main Beach LR Station) Tedder Avenue, McIntosh Island, Paradise Waters, The Spit
Gold Coast Light Rail - Surfers Paradise North Station.jpg Surfers Paradise North SPN 14 7.35 27°59′35″S 153°25′45″E / 27.992961°S 153.429305°E / -27.992961; 153.429305 (Surfers Paradise North LR Station) Budds Beach, Narrowneck
Cypress Avenue Station - Gold Coast Light Rail.jpg Cypress Avenue CYP 14 7.80 27°59′48″S 153°25′45″E / 27.996747°S 153.429080°E / -27.996747; 153.429080 (Cypress Avenue LR Station) Adrenalin Park, Chevron Island, bus connections available
Gold Coast Light Rail - Cavill Avenue Station.jpg Cavill Avenue CAA 14 8.32 28°00′05″S 153°25′42″E / 28.001503°S 153.428360°E / -28.001503; 153.428360 (Cavill Avenue LR Station) Cavill Avenue shopping and nightclub area of Surfers Paradise, Nerang River Terminal, Surfers Paradise Transit Centre, Hilton Hotel, Surfers Paradise beach
Surfers Paradise Glink Station.jpg Surfers Paradise SUP 14 8.85 28°00′22″S 153°25′45″E / 28.006142°S 153.429060°E / -28.006142; 153.429060 (Surfers Paradise LR Station) Q1, Paradise Island
Northcliffe GCLR station 2015-01-23.jpg Northcliffe NOR 14 9.31 28°00′38″S 153°25′46″E / 28.010466°S 153.429537°E / -28.010466; 153.429537 (Northcliffe LR Station) Northcliffe Surf Club, Isle of Capri
Florida Gardens FLG 14 10.05 28°01′03″S 153°25′46″E / 28.017483°S 153.429328°E / -28.017483; 153.429328 (Florida Gardens LR Station) Cascade Gardens
Gold Coast Light Rail - Broadbeach North Station.jpg Broadbeach North BRN 14 11.30 28°01′43″S 153°25′47″E / 28.028597°S 153.429835°E / -28.028597; 153.429835 (Broadbeach North LR Station) Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach Mall, Jupiters Casino, Kurrawa Park, Oasis Shopping Centre
Gold Coast Light Rail - Broadbeach South Terminus.jpg Broadbeach South BBS 14/15 12.18 28°02′08″S 153°25′52″E / 28.035455°S 153.431161°E / -28.035455; 153.431161 (Broadbeach South LR Station) Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Broadbeach Library, Broadbeach South bus station, Broadbeach beach

Planned extension to Helensvale[edit]

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

A planned 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. Additional car parking would be provided at Helensvale and a new car park would be included at Parkwood. Four new trams have been ordered to service the extension. The end-to-end journey time on the extension would be 11 min.[28][29][22]

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. The Gold Coast City Council was supportive and proposed a route from Griffith University to Parkwood and Helensvale.[30] Despite no funding from the Australian Government being forthcoming, Expressions of Interest to construct a northern extension were called in August 2015.[31] Six submissions were received.[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.[32][33] The three parties invited to tender are:[29]

Later in October 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.[34][35] 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.[32][36]

The Queensland Government is also funding a separate project to duplicate the Gold Cost railway line between Helensvale and Coomera - the last single track section of the line. The second track is expected to be finished in late 2017 and will allow more frequent train services between Helensvale and Brisbane.[37]

Potential extensions[edit]

Gold Coast City Council is planning for a third stage of the line. A southern extension of the existing line along the Gold Coast Highway towards Burleigh has attracted some support from the council and state government.[38][39] Both levels of government have released maps that show plans for the trams to eventually connect with the airport.[40][41] However a coastal route from Burleigh to the border is understood to be fraught with engineering challenges, including how to get around Burleigh headland and across both Tallebudgera and Currumbin creeks.[40]

The council released a list of potential routes for stage three in November 2015 and invited public comment.[40] The routes are:[42]

  • Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads - southern extension of existing route
  • Nobby Beach to Robina Station - two options presented
  • Burleigh Heads to Varsity Lakes Station
  • Varsity Lakes Station to Gold Coast Airport
  • Burleigh Heads to Gold Coast Airport - two options presented

Previous proposals[edit]

Northern routes[edit]

Southport to Parkwood[edit]

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.[43]


Western routes[edit]

Broadbeach to Nerang[edit]

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.[44]

Nobby Beach to Robina[edit]

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.[45]

Burleigh Heads to Varsity Lakes[edit]

In 2014, the state government investigated a possible extension from Burleigh Heads to Varsity Lakes railway station.[45]

Southern routes[edit]

Surfers Paradise to Bundall[edit]


Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads[edit]


Broadbeach to Coolangatta[edit]

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.[46]

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.[45]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Estimated Resident Population Profile.id
  2. ^ "Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor Study". City of Gold Coast. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Gold Coast Light Rail Feasibility". Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development. 14 May 2002. 
  4. ^ "Gold Coast Light Rail Feasibility Study" (PDF). Parsons Brinckerhoff. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  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. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "GoldlinQ selected to build Gold Coast light rail". Railway Gazette International. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "GoldLinQ wins £657M Australian rail project". New Civil Engineer. 9 May 2011. 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 6 July 2010. 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. 
  14. ^ "Works updates". GoldLinQ. 4 December 2013. 
  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. ^ "Gold Coast Light Rail Fare Cost". Gold Coast Light Rail. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "The G: is coming - Monday 21 July 2014". Translink. Queensland Government. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Route 700 timetable Translink
  19. ^ "GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford inspects construction of first tram in Germany". GoldLinkQ. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "The tram". GoldLinkQ. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  21. ^ Silva, Kristian (20 September 2013). "Gold Coast trams unveiled". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "Record of Proceedings (proof) First Session of the Fifty-fifth Parliament Thursday, 12 November 2015" (PDF). Queensland Parliament. 12 November 2015. p. 2826. 
  23. ^ "Gold Coast tram option exercised". railwaygazette.com. 25 November 2015. 
  24. ^ Tony Moore (6 May 2015). "Five million people jump on board Gold Coast Light Rail since July 2014". brisbane times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "Short list named for Gold Coast light rail Stage 2". GoldLinQ. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ "Gold Coast light rail station locations" (PDF). GoldLinQ. 
  28. ^ "Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2". Department of Transport and Main Roads. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  29. ^ a b c "Stage Two - General Information". GoldLinQ. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  30. ^ Moore, Tony (4 March 2015). "Gold Coast light rail gets support from Queensland Government". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "Interest sought in Gold Coast light rail stage two". Railway Gazette. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  32. ^ a b "Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 moves forward to next stage". Queensland Government. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  33. ^ Kane, Charmaine (1 October 2015). "Gold Coast light rail: Queensland Government to call for tenders for stage two despite no federal funding commitment". ABC Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 
  34. ^ Hurst, Daniel (11 October 2015). "Malcolm Turnbull backs public transport with $95m for Gold Coast light rail". The Guardian Australia. 
  35. ^ "Stage two of Gold Coast light rail on track for Commonwealth Games". Queensland Government. 11 October 2015. 
  36. ^ Stephens, Kim (11 October 2015). "Gold Coast light rail: PM arrives by train with $95m promise on board". Brisbane Times. 
  37. ^ "Gold Coast double-tracking contract awarded". railwaygazette.com. 18 December 2015. 
  38. ^ Potts, Andrew (7 November 2015). "Trams to Burleigh ‘will happen’: Council officers are already planning". Gold Coast Bulletin. 
  39. ^ Potts, Andrew (5 October 2015). "Communities to be connected to light rail says Trad as next light rail link heads south". Gold Coast Bulletin. 
  40. ^ a b c Potts, Andrew (17 November 2015). "You’ll decide light rail stage 3: Southern Coast residents to have their say on route". Gold Coast Bulletin. 
  41. ^ "Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 Fact Sheet November 2015" (PDF). Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. 
  42. ^ "Light rail southern Gold Coast - Have your say on the light rail extension". City of Gold Coast. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 
  43. ^ "Draft Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031" (PDF). City of Gold Coast. 2012. pp. 6, 7. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  44. ^ "Western light rail link connecting Nerang and Broadbeach is back on track". Gold Coast Bulletin. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  45. ^ a b c "Gold Coast City Council spent $325,000 investigating a Nobby Beach-Robina light rail link". Gold Coast Bulletin. 14 September 2015. 
  46. ^ "Future Stages". GoldLinQ. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 

External links[edit]

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