At a ceremony to mark the launch of the new branding for operator franchisee, GoldLinQ, Dan Osborne, managing director of Bombardier Transportation Australia, introduced the new light rail vehicle to an audience of Gold Coast local officials, dignitaries and community representatives as well as project stakeholders.
The GCLRT project is part of an 18-year public private partnership contract between the Queensland state government and GoldLinQ. As operator franchisee of stage one of the GCLRT, GoldLinQ, a consortium that includes Bombardier Transportation, is responsible for the design, construction, operations and maintenance. The first phase of the project will connect Gold Coast University Hospital to Broadbeach. The line will be serviced by a fleet of 14 seven-module Flexity 2 trams, to be delivered by Bombardier over the next four months.
After a two-and-a-half-month sea journey, the first two Flexity 2 trams for the Gold Coast arrived in the Port of Brisbane on Sept. 10, and were transported to the depot in complete units, using a specially designed 20 axle steerable trailer. The first tram will undergo testing and commissioning on the first section of the corridor, running from the depot along Queen and Nerang streets to Southport.
A further six trams, built in Germany, are on their way to Australia, with the remaining trams scheduled to be delivered by early 2014. Passenger services on stage one are expected to commence from mid-2014.
Based on Bombardier's Flexity family of light rail vehicles that combines proven technology with continuous improvement and innovation, the Gold Coast tram has been specifically styled by Bombardier's Industrial Design team in Brisbane to include a wave motif on the cab front. The tram is 43.4 m long and 2.65 m wide with seven modules for higher capacity and better passenger flow. It features the signature blue and gold colours of the Gold Coast and is the first tram in the world designed and built to carry surf boards on specially designed racks. These trams also feature the most powerful air-conditioning system for this class of tram, suitable for Australia's hot summers.