The Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 has reached a new milestone with tram testing beginning in early September 2017.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the first tram has successfully been tested on the new 7.3km light rail extension between Gold Coast University Hospital and Helensvale Station.
“Gold Coast Light Rail has transformed public transport on the Gold Coast and Stage 2 is going to build on this fantastic legacy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Once Stage 2 is complete locals and tourists alike will have a smooth, one-transfer journey between Brisbane and the Gold Coast’s most iconic destinations.
“Testing has gotten underway successfully, and Stage 2 is well on track to be ready in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“In early September 2017, we saw the energisation process completed and we’ll now have a rigorous program of testing to ensure that the light rail system operates safely before commencing passenger services.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport, Jackie Trad, said that testing would continue over the following months.
“Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 is key to a modern, reliable public transport system for Queensland’s second biggest city,” Ms Trad said.
“As the Gold Coast grows, this piece of infrastructure is going to become increasingly important, connecting people to jobs, tourist attractions and community amenities.
“Trams are currently being tested on the new line at night, starting at low speeds. As the testing progresses, the trams work their way up to operational speeds of up to 70km per hour.
“Gold Coast locals between Broadbeach and Southport are very familiar with the light rail in their area. Now residents and road users in Parkwood, Arundel and Helensvale will start to become familiar with light rail operations in their neighbourhood.”
GoldlinQ CEO, Phil Mumford, said the testing of trams was not only an important time for the project team and specialist engineers involved in construction but also for the community.
“During the tram testing phase, locals will hear trams on the Stage 2 tracks for the very first time,” Mr Mumford said.
“During this time, Stage 2 communication systems are also tested in isolation before being connected into the existing operations centre.
“Each connection occurs outside of operating hours to ensure the transition occurs smoothly, but these are complex systems and we are doing everything we can to ensure that there is no impact on Stage 1 operations.”
G:link’s trial running period will be the last phase of operational readiness testing ahead of passenger services starting in early 2018.