Five new trams have arrived in the Gold Coast as the $1.2 billion construction project for the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 expansion continues.

The new trams that arrived were greeted by Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and will be utilised during the extension of the light rail to Burleigh Heads. In addition to the pre-existing trams, the total Light Rail fleet is accelerated to 23, putting the $1.2 billion expansion project on track to deliver the high frequency tram services from day one. 

The Queensland Government, in partnership with the Federal Government and the City of Gold Coast, is fronting the $1.2 billion project. 

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that the Federal Government is helping to provide nation-shaping projects. 

“The arrival of new trams for Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3, plus the incredible milestone of 73 million trips, marks an exciting step for this project, where past success meets future plans,” Ms King said. 

“With the Gold Coast’s status as a domestic and international tourism must-see, this project is a prime example of the Australian Government’s 10-year $120 billion infrastructure pipeline, delivering nation-shaping projects with national significance.

“I look forward to seeing even more progress in the months to come.”

The Light Rail is the only mode of public transport in the state of Queensland that has regularly exceeded pre-covid patronage levels, surpassing 73 million paid passenger trips since its opening in 2014. 

The integrated network helps to connect more and more citizens in one of Australia’s fastest growing cities whilst major construction of Stage 3 is expected to directly support more than 760 local jobs. 

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said that the project is demonstrating the State Government’s continued investment into expanding the state and public transport services. 

“The Palaszczuk Government has backed the light rail from the very beginning, it’s a one of a kind public transport system for our state and has had huge success for the Gold Coast,” Mr Bailey said. 

“With more than 73 million trips across the network, this just demonstrates that our continued investment into expanding the service is the right move.

“Once the stage 3 extension from Broadbeach to Burleigh is complete, we will no doubt see more and more people choosing to catch the tram.

“We’re continuing to work on a business case for light rail stage 4 to continue growing the network with a connection to the airport.”

The five new light rail vehicles made the journey to the Gold Coast by sea to the Port of Brisbane before they were transported down the M1 via a 76-wheel trailer. The trams will undergo various forms of testing at the Southport depot before they join the current and operational fleet. 

Enhanced accessibility elements are featured in the new trams, making them more inclusive and accessible for the population. The new elements include double accessible spaces, braille signs, 20 priority seats on every tram and vertical handrails have been shifted to create wider passageways for wheelchairs, prams, walkers and other mobility aids. 

Track laying is expected to start in 2024 and be completed in 2025. 

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