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Gold Coast extension plan for the 2018 Commonwealth Games

The initial 13km (eight-mile) phase of the G:Link system opened in July 2014 and runs from University Hospital to Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. (Image: F. Anzola)

A shorter alternative route for the northern second phase of the Gold Coast’s light rail system has been unveiled, which would allow it to connect to the main rail line to Brisbane in time for the city’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2018. The Queensland government has invited expressions of interest until August 28 for construction of the revised 7.3km (4.5-mile) route.

The new alignment would run from the current northern terminus at Gold Coast University Hospital to Helensvale, where interchange would be provided with Queensland Rail services to Brisbane, includes two new park-and-ride sites and offers a projected end-to-end journey time of 11 minutes.

Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has said that a contribution from all three levels of government is required if the project is to be built in time for the Commonwealth Games. The city has already made a funding commitment, and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is reported to be minded to consider a Commonwealth Games ‘enhancement’ funding package. The tender submissions will then inform a final price for the funding submission to the Prime Minister.