The Gold Coast Light Rail route services the busiest areas of the city, with Stage One of development focussing on providing services to the areas most in need of efficient transport solutions in the short term. The Stage One route from Griffith University to Broadbeach will service north/south bound travel along the coast, with east/west bound travel being serviced by high-frequency bus services.
The 16 Stage One stations along the light rail Gold Coast route will be grouped into 4 different precincts to reflect the different areas they service. 2 stations are included in the Health and Knowledge Precinct, 5 stations in the Southport Precinct, 6 stations in the Surfers Paradise Precinct, and 3 stations in the Broadbeach Precinct. Each precinct is planned to have its own distinct atmosphere and purpose.
The northern-most precinct, Health and Knowledge, is located on the Griffith University Gold Coast campus, servicing a predicted student population of 25,000+, and the staff, patients and visitors of the new 750-bed Gold Coast University Hospital. Providing light rail access at Gold Coast University Hospital Station and Griffith University Station, the Health and Knowledge Precinct is slated to become a point of integration for learning and innovation, with commercial services.
The Health and Knowledge route will run from the Gold Coast University Hospital Station at the northern end of Parklands Drive, travelling east along Parklands to the Griffith University Station on Smith Street, near Engineering Drive. Crossing Smith Street on an overhead viaduct and passing the new light rail depot near Olympic Circuit, the track will then lead to the Southport Precinct.
The Southport Precinct will service the Southport CBD, offering accessible transport for businesses, shoppers and residents. This precinct will be a hub for commercial businesses of all kinds, including retail, leisure, financial, legal, medical, educational, and community. The 5 stations grouped in this precinct are Queen Street Station, Nerang Street Station (old Gold Coast Hospital Station), Southport Station, Southport South Station, and Broadwater Parklands Station.
The Southport route will cross Wardoo Street to Queen Street Station before travelling along Queen Street towards the heart of the Southport CBD. The route will then turn left into Nerang Street, stopping at the Current Gold Coast Hospital Station, and then continue along Nerang to Southport Station at the eastern-most end of Nerang Street. Next will be a right turn into Scarborough Street where Southport South Station is located, before turning left onto Queen Street again, where Broadwater Parklands Station will be located at the eastern end. The track will then cross the Nerang River heading south towards the Surfers Paradise precinct.
The Surfers Paradise Precinct will provide safe and convenient transport in the urban tourism centre, being particularly useful for tourists at night. Access to accommodation, leisure facilities, and retail centres is the focus of this precinct. Its 6 light rail stops will be Main Beach Station, Surfers Paradise North Station, Cypress Avenue Station, Cavill Avenue Station, Surfers Paradise Station, and Northcliffe Station.
The Surfers Paradise route will first travel along the western side of Gold Coast Highway. Main Beach Station will be located near the intersection with Hill Parade (which leads directly into Tender Avenue in Main Beach). The route will cross the Nerang River again at McIntosh Island South, and travel through the intersection of Ferny Avenue and the Gold Coast Highway, where it will cross onto the western side of the Surfers Paradise Boulevard and continue to the Surfers Paradise North Station just prior to Ocean Avenue. From here the route will follow the western side of the Surfers Paradise Boulevard, travelling south to Cypress Avenue Station and Cavill Avenue Station, then onto Surfers Paradise Station, just south of Clifford Street, and Northcliffe Station, just north of Thornton Street. At the end of Surfers Paradise Boulevard the light rail will move back onto the Gold Coast Highway and travel south to the Broadbeach Precinct.
The Broadbeach Precinct will provide 3 access points (Florida Gardens Station, Broadbeach North Station, and Broadbeach South Station) to the area’s renowned shopping and entertainment district. This precinct will focus on retail, restaurants, and the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, which will connect directly to the route’s southern-most station.
The Broadbeach route will run south down the centre of the Gold Coast Highway to Florida Gardens Station near Wharf Road. Still travelling south on the highway, the Broadbeach North Station will be located near Queensland Avenue, between the Main Place shopping district and the Gold Coast Convention and Entertainment Centre. After the intersection at TE Peters Drive, the track will move to the western side of the highway, continue travelling south, and cross Hooker Boulevard to reach Stage One’s final stop, Broadbeach South Station.
There are 16 stations along the Gold Coast Light Rail system:
- Gold Coast University Hospital
- Griffith University
- Queen Street
- Nerang Street
- Southport South
- Broadwater Parklands
- Main Beach
- Surfer Paradise North
- Cypress Avenue
- Cavill Avenue
- Surfers Paradise
- Florida Gardens
- Broadbeach North
- Broadbeach South.
The G: terminates at the Gold Coast University Hospital and Broadbeach South stations.
Article, Image/Photo © Ian Piggott 2013 – all rights reserved,