; ;

Gold Coast Light Rail, Gold Coast, Queensland

Queensland’s first ever contemporary light rail system

As lead consultant for Stage One of the $1bn Gold Coast Light Rail system, Arup is providing services to help transform Gold Coast’s urban corridor. This world-class public transport network involves the construction of a 13km light rail system.

Design calls for an integrated approach

The light rail system is technically challenging as it is at grade and occupies much of the existing road corridor, requiring alterations to the functionality of the road network. Having to connect into the existing horizontal and vertical geometry at over 50 intersections in a highly constrained existing network has required close coordination within the team. The significant number of existing and proposed services below ground has also created challenges in integrating the design to minimise impacts.

The team challenged the depot footprint during the tender to develop an innovative solution that reduced construction on the landfill site, thereby reducing costs, program, the impact on local residents and the risk to endangered species.

Project Summary

AU$1bn project



Innovation through structural design

Our designers are utilising a proprietary track slab system on all bridges and viaducts, which involves precast concrete plinths with a profiled top finish that allows the rails to be secured directly to the plinth. The profiled top finish and matched resilient pads, eliminate the need for any base plates. This approach has led to reduced costs and improved installation times for the project construction team. This experience will allow our designers to realise similar benefits in terms of time and cost on future projects.

Improving public mobility

Rapid growth on the Gold Coast is responsible for the increased pressure on an already heavily utilised road network. When built, it will provide unprecedented access to the new Gold Coast University Hospital, Griffith University, Southport medical precinct and the fast growing commercial, retail and recreational centres of Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.

Global light rail capability

Arup’s involvement on a project of this scale demonstrates the firm’s ability to create innovative and technically-excellent solutions that deliver long-term, whole-of-life outcomes. Arup drew on global light rail capabilities to add real value throughout the tender design process.