The first passengers boarded the new Gold Coast light rail link between Southport and Broadbeach, Queensland, as stage one of the project was completed. Normal operations commenced on 21 July after a day of free travel the previous day.
Costing A$1.2 billion, the new electric-powered service, known as G:link, comprises 14 seven-carriage trams, each with a 308-passenger capacity, with 84 seated. Bombardier Transportation provided the BOMBARDIER FLEXITY 2 trams, which feature multipurpose areas for prams and luggage, as well as surf board racks.
Able to travel at 70km an hour, the average speed of the trams, taking into account stopping and starting at the 16 stations of the line, is 23km an hour.
The project was managed by GoldLinQ consortium as part of a public-private partnership with the Government of Queensland and the Gold Coast City Council. Besides easing congestion and improving accessiblity, the new service will be an important addition to transport infrastructure as the Gold Coast prepares to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.