Light rail

As Queensland’s first ever light rail system, it represents a major step forward in transforming the city into a modern, accessible destination.

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Light rail

As Queensland’s first ever light rail system, the Gold Coast Light Rail project represents a major step forward in transforming the city into a modern, accessible destination.

G:link tram

Source: Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 1 Project

It is one of the biggest public transport projects in the country, and the biggest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken on the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast light rail system is designed to be delivered in stages to respond to the city’s growth. 

Stage 1 of the project was delivered as a public-private partnership between the Queensland Government, the City, the Australian Government and GoldLinQ, with the City providing a financial contribution of $120 million.

The Gold Coast Transport Strategy 2031

Click to enlargeStage 1 and Stage 2 alignment map

Stage 1 and Stage 2 alignment map

As one of the fastest growing cities in Australia, the city’s roads will become more and more congested each year unless concerted action is taken. The light rail master plan embodied in the Gold Coast Transport Strategy 2031 aims to keep ahead of congestion. While ensuring the city’s great lifestyle is maintained.

In March 2013, the City launched a transport vision to support the Gold Coast in maturing into a world class city. This vision and supporting strategy recognises the City’s increasing travel demands as a result of our rapid population growth.

The strategy outlines the need for a world class public transport system that is underpinned by an extensive light rail network across the City’s major transport corridors to connect people to places.

The City continues to partner with the State and Commonwealth Governments to improve safety and reduce congestion on the city’s roads through the delivery of a light rail network.

Stage 1

Stage 1 of the light rail runs from the Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) to Broadbeach South.

Fast, frequent trams connect 16 light rail stations along a 13-kilometre route.

Since commencement of the system in July 2014 the light rail has in its first three years of operation:

  • carried over 21,000 passengers each day,
  • made over 21 million trips in less than three years,
  • reduced vehicle traffic by 21 per cent on the Gold Coast Highway at Broadbeach, and
  • contributed to Gold Coast public transport growth of 23 per cent between 2013 to 2014 and 2015 to 2016.

Residents and visitors can ride the G:link to some of the Gold Coast's major destinations including Griffith University, Southport CBD, Broadwater Parklands and the new Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Pacific Fair.

Stage 2 Extension to Helensvale

Stage 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail established a light rail-heavy rail connection through a 7.3 kilometre extension from the existing northern terminus at Gold Coast University Hospital to the regional passenger rail network at Helensvale Station. The Stage 2 extension includes three new stations, two park 'n' ride facilities and four new trams.

The Stage 2 extension was delivered as a public-private partnership between the Queensland Government, the Australian Government, the City of Gold Coast and the existing operator GoldLinQ.

It opened in December 2017 in time for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Stage 3 Extension to Coolangatta

The City’s Transport Strategy supports the future expansion of the light rail network, as well as wider improvements to public transport across the Gold Coast.

Public consultation on ideas for extending the light rail south of Broadbeach was undertaken by the City in December 2015.

  • Connecting Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads was the highest priority with 79 per cent community support.
  • The second priority wa connecting Burleigh Heads to Gold Coast Airport with 70 per cent community support.

In June 2016, Council endorsed planning for Stage 3 of Light Rail from Broadbeach South to Coolangatta via Gold Coast International Airport.

The project plan for the Stage 3 corridor proposes two stages of light rail construction:

  • Stage 3A from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads, and
  • Stage 3B from Burleigh Heads to Coolangatta via the Gold Coast Airport.

Stage 3A - Extension to Burleigh Heads

Light Rail Stage 3A

Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A is the next part of a bigger plan to connect light rail from the heavy rail network at Helensvale Station to Coolangatta via the Gold Coast Airport.

Preliminary Business Case

The extension of light rail to Burleigh Heads will require funding from the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and the City.

Completion of a Preliminary Business Case is an important first step in the process to secure project funding, as the Preliminary Business Case provides government with an initial assessment of the costs and benefits of the project.

The Preliminary Business Case for Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A was completed by the City in December 2017.

The following provides a summary of the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A Preliminary Business Case for the proposed Stage 3A extension of light rail from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads.

Download the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A Preliminary Business Case summary (PDF 3.5mb)

Community consultation and engagement June 2017

The City conducted a stakeholder engagement and community consultation process from 4 June to 7 July 2017.

You can view community engagement details and its results.

Detailed Business Case

Following the Preliminary Business Case, the Queensland Government, in partnership with the City of Gold Coast, is now producing a Detailed Business Case for Stage 3A. A key output of the business case is the development of a reference design. The Detailed Business Case is expected to be complete by late 2018 and will inform government about the proposed route, station locations, procurement, financial and budget implications of the project.

Community engagement during August 2018 encouraged feedback on the project. Community drop-in sessions in Burleigh Heads and Mermaid Beach gave the community the opportunity to view reference design maps, meet project team members, learn more about the proposed extension and provide feedback on the project. An online survey at was another way the community could get involved in the project. Community feedback during the engagement period will help inform the Detailed Business Case.

Future stages of Light Rail

The City Transport Strategy 2031 proposes further extensions of the Gold Coast Light Rail once Stage 3 to Coolangatta is completed. These will include, but are not limited to:

  • Nobby Beach to Robina
  • Broadbeach to Nerang
  • Surfers to Bundall
  • Gold Coast University Hospital to Biggera Waters.

Subject to agreement by the New South Wales government, an extension of Stage 3 into Tweed Heads could also be possible.

More information


Please visit TransLink or call 13 12 30 to:


Please visit G:link or phone 1800 064 928 to find out about:

You may also download the G:link app for Android and/or Apple devices.

If you are working in or around the light rail, please also see our Working around light rail page for more information.

Staying informed on Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is leading the Detailed Business Case for Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A. For updates on the project, visit the Department of Transport and Main Roads website. 


For information on the Light Rail project construction, testing and traffic diversions, visit GoldLinQ or phone 1800 967 377.

Light Rail Reports

The following reports have been prepared to outline the construction pre-feasibility and future city building opportunities created through the expansion of light rail along three (3) corridors identified within the City Transport Strategy. Executive summaries of the reports are available below.

Light Rail Southern Gold Coast consultation summary report

The City of Gold Coast conducted a public consultation to determine the future planning for the Light Rail Southern Gold Coast.

Light Rail Corridor 2015 Status Report.

Building our city - Light rail corridor

The report will help the City target and manage future growth along the route, measuring the community, economic and environmental impacts of light rail on local communities.

Light Rail Corridor 2015 Status Report.

Gold Coast high capacity public transport corridor studies

This report outlines the need and purpose of high capacity public transport (light rail) on the Gold Coast.

Purpose and needs paper - Executive summary - 3 June 2015.

This report investigates the pre-feasibility of route options for three corridors identified within the City Transport Strategy for future high capacity public transport (light rail).

Refined options report - Executive summary - 28 October 2015.

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