The Gold Coast’s first tram is taking shape in a German factory and GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford has toured the site with a first look at its construction.
Mr Mumford said the steel vehicle bodies were now in the sandblasting and painting area and would be painted bright yellow - the colour so familiar to the Gold Coast with its sun and sand.
GoldLinQ’s rail systems partner Bombardier Transportation has been contracted to build 14 FLEXITY 2 light rail vehicles, which will run along the Gold Coast light rail’s Stage One 13-kilometre route.
“It has been great to see the first vehicle being built and actually be in the Bautzen factory watching the work being done,” Mr Mumford said.
“I am very happy with the progress and am confident each and every tram will be delivered on time to the Gold Coast.
“I was able to drive a similar vehicle produced for Blackpool while I was there.”
Bombardier’s Project Director Ian Corfield said the first FLEXITY 2 tram for the Gold Coast would arrive in mid-2013 with the final tram to be delivered in early 2014.
“We are proud to be delivering a Queensland designed tram for the Gold Coast, 43 metres long with its unique cab front styled around a wave,” Mr Corfield said.
“Bombardier has delivered 3500 light rail vehicles world-wide in the past 15 years and we continue to be a global leader of choice for light rail systems.”
Mr Mumford took the opportunity to tour locations with light rail sites in several stages of development from construction and newly built systems to well-established systems, operated by Keolis, (KDR Gold Coast is a Joint Venture between Keolis and Downer EDI Rail in Australia).
“The trip was to gain a better understanding of how light rail systems are currently operated by Keolis and also see the tram-building progress,” he said.
“A good thing I have learnt is most cities find once they build their first light rail they can’t build extensions fast enough to keep up with passenger demand.”
Gold Coast light rail passenger services will begin in mid-2014 after a testing and commissioning phase which will have trams running along the route with no passengers.