With the first light rail line in Australia’s capital city, Canberra moving one million passengers within the first three months, work is underway to extend the network.
Light Rail Stage 2 (City to Woden) of Canberra’s Light Rail would run south from the city centre, across Lake Burley Griffin, around the Parliamentary Zone, then move through Deakin to Woden. It will connect major education, health, government and entertainment precincts.
The 12km ‘ Gungahlin to City’ route (Stage 1), which links the northern suburbs to the city centre, opened in April 2019, with Arup leading the Technical Advisory team.
Arup is continuing the partnership with Major Projects Canberra on the design, as well as the planning approvals, tendering and procurement stages for Light Rail Stage 2, building light rail to Woden; Stage 2A, connecting the City to Commonwealth Park.
We have been involved in Canberra Light Rail since 2014, developing the master plan for a network that connects the north and south city regions.
Light rail is a key initiative for reducing congestion, climate action and enhancing liveability – referenced in the ACT Government’s ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019-25, Planning Strategy 2018, the National Capital Plan, Transport for Canberra 2012-2031 and Moving Canberra 2019-2045 Integrated Transport Strategy
1.7 kilometres initial extension from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park
20+ disciplines involved
500,000 residents by 2030
It’s been great working in such a collaborative partnership that has delivered environmentally engineered and sustainable design solutions in what is a remarkably complex planning landscape. ”Chris Fay Technical Director Environmental Planning, NSW and ACT
The new line is being developed in two stages.
Work is underway on ‘City to Commonwealth Park’ (Stage 2A) from the current terminus at Alinga Street to the northern edge of the Lake. It will have 1.7km of double track, three new stations - City West, City South and Commonwealth Park, and carry 3,000 extra passengers a day. The surrounding areas will be improved with tree plantings, road development and traffic signals. The City West stop will be at the doorstep to the Australian National University, thereby servicing a large population and complementing the ANU’s Acton Campus Master Plan to offer integrated mobility systems and a car-free centre.
Construction is targeted to start in 2021.
The future Stage 2B would run from Commonwealth Park across the Lake to Woden.
Our collaborative relationship with MPC and our technical expertise have enabled us to deliver quality, sustainable outcomes that recognise the unique Canberra context and character. ”Dylan Coote ACT Region Leader
Arup’s intimate knowledge of the project, planning and relationships built on Stage 1 provide a strong foundation for the project management of the extension.
Our technical specialists are managing more than 20 disciplines on the project.
Arup has completed a number of assessments, including a preliminary environmental assessment (PEA) on Stage 2A to identify an effective planning approvals pathway and issues that will need detailed consideration in future development applications. Compliance and approvals under federal and territory legislation, and consultation with National Capital Authority are part of our scope of work.
Our structural experts have completed detailed analysis of the proposed light rail crossing over Lake Burley Griffin. Options upgrading the existing bridge structures, and potentially constructing a new bridge along the alignment were documented. The project would require relocating existing utilities, drainage infrastructure and urban design works along the route.
A total design solution
The light rail design will aim to respect the plans for Canberra as set out by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin in 1912, and envisaged in the city’s various designated areas.
With design practice HASSELL, we have provided urban planning and landscaping concepts along the route, which runs through complex existing cityscape. The concepts reflect how the project will shape the city and enhance public spaces, while remaining sympathetic to the city’s heritage and character.
Light rail provides a more sustainable transport option for Canberra, where 85% of residents travel to work by car. Arup is developing a strategy that embeds sustainability into all parts of the project and establishes the project as a leader in sustainable transport design, construction and operation.