G: link train Australia

The Australian Government is providing A$95m for the construction of the Gold Coast light rail Stage 2, connecting the Gold Coast to Brisbane.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk have said that the extension project will be completed in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

More than 1,000 jobs are expected to be created during the construction of 7.3km Stage 2.

The light rail extension will run from the Helensvale heavy rail station and bus interchange to connect with Stage 1 at the Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) light rail station.

Turnbull said: "This project is vital for the Commonwealth Games transport task. It connects five competition venues and nine events to accommodation and public transport interchanges."

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"This project is vital for the Commonwealth Games. It connects five competition venues and nine events to accommodation and public transport interchanges."

The government completed the expression of interest process in September, and six national and international consortia have expressed interest in the project. Interested bidders have until December to submit tenders.

Following the conclusion of the request for tender phase, the government intends to select a preferred bidder in early 2016.

Palaszczuk said: "Once the Commonwealth was provided with the business case, the prime minister prioritised the decision to fund this infrastructure which will be critical to the success of the games.

"With this announcement from the Commonwealth and the A$55m funding commitment from the council, all three levels of government are now on board to deliver this legacy project for Queensland."

Passenger services on the $1.2bn Gold Coast new light project began in July 2014. Stage 1 operates 14 trams on a 13km rail route with 16 stations.

The GoldLinQ consortium, which includes Bombardier, Keolis, Downer Rail, McConnell Dowell, and the Plenary Group, was selected to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the first stage of the light rail system.

Image: G:link tram in the G:link depot yard emerging from the tram wash with two drivers on board. Photo: courtesy of G:link