Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson
Light Rail Rolls Out
Victor P Taffa
Two new light rail G: link units are ready for testing after travelling more than 10,000 nautical miles to their new Gold Coast home.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson, Member for Southport Rob Molhoek and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate today inspected the new units.
“The 43m-long, bright yellow and blue trams will now be tested on the system before passenger services begin mid-2014.” Mr. Emerson said.
“The trams will have the ability to deliver more than 300 people, every seven-and-a-half minutes, to Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.”
“The Newman Government is committed to getting people out of their cars and on to public transport and the Gold Coast light rail will provide a real alternative for the Gold Coast community.”
“The testing of trams, systems and drivers will start from next month and will happen first on the roads in Southport before being rolled out along the entire corridor.”
“I hope commuters will embrace the 21st public transport operator to join the South East Queensland network and discover how much time can be saved by taking light rail trams instead of driving.”
Mr. Molhoek said the arrival of its first two trams and the first look at the G: link brand was an exciting milestone.
“Whether it’s used for a daily commute or weekend adventure, I hope riding the ‘G’ will become part of the fabric of this community.” Mr. Molhoek said.
“In mid-2014, passengers will have easy access at 16 stations and will be able to jump on the new trams branded with the large G.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said not only would the city receive a new public transport system, but the City’s funding commitment meant underground services had been upgraded to future proof the Gold Coast for decades to come.
“Investing in public transport reduces congestion on our roadways, helps our environment, and this light rail project has already created thousands of good paying jobs right here on the Gold Coast.” Cr. Tate said.
“The system will become a part of daily life as many Gold Coasters use it for travel to work, school, the beach and to access the food and entertainment areas the Glitter Strip is famous for.”
Stage one of the 13-kilometre, $1.2 Billion project will service the new Gold Coast University Hospital, due to open later this year, and Griffith University.
The remaining 12 trams are due to arrive in coming months.
The New South Wales O’Farrell Government is currently constructing the extension of the Inner West Light Rail Line from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill. The Inner West Line operates along disused Heavy Freight Railway Tracks. Planning for the South Eastern Light Rail Line is underway that will service Randwick and Kingsford. The South Eastern Line commences from Circular Quay, Sydney CBD.
Heavy Rail and Light Rail are compatible as they can operate along the same Tracks whereas Metro Rail cannot. Metro Rail uses a third live rail. The O’Farrell Government wishes to build a Metro Rail System that will not integrate into the Heavy Rail Network. This will impact on any plans to extend the Carlingford Heavy Rail Line to Epping.
The O’Farrell Government as with previous New South Wales Governments are trying to cutback the Newcastle Heavy Rail Line to Wickham and replace it with a Light Rail Line. This idea sounds great however it will simply disconnect people who travel from the Hunter Valley and Sydney wanting to travel to the Newcastle CBD.