Gold Coast business and tourism leaders celebrating light rail stage 2 opening
Gold Coast businesses can unwrap one Christmas present early, with industry and political leaders salivating over the million dollar festive season injection the light rail’s second stage will bring to the city.
Passengers will get their first ride on the tram’s 7.3km new link on Sunday morning with a special community day before regular services begin on Monday.
The weekend launch, more than a fortnight earlier than anticipated, is expected to attract tens of thousands of passengers to enjoy the first ride, with rail fans from as far away as Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and northern NSW expected to make the journey.
It’s a pre-Christmas miracle for businesses and tourism bosses who say the gala event will give the economy a vital shot in the arm which will bring more people to the city and reduce traffic on the M1.
Mayor Tom Tate said that Christmas had come early for the Coast with what he tipped to be a “momentous day”.
“We are going to get massive crowds here this Sunday and that means Christmas has come early for the Gold Coast as far as our tourism industry is concerned,” he said.
“This is going to be a momentous occasion for our city as we see the missing link of our biggest ever transport project completed.
“The linking, which connects Broadbeach to Brisbane with just one changeover means plenty more people from Brisbane will be coming here not just on Sunday but more often.
“I envisage many additional long weekends being booked here without putting more cars on the M1.”
The first passengers will embark on the stage 2 route from Helensvale at 5am on Sunday morning.
It will be the first time people from Brisbane will be able to travel by rail directly to the Coast’s famous beaches since the closure of the old railway at Southport in 1964.
Gold Coast Tourism chief executive Martin Winter welcomed the news and said visitors had plenty of reasons to smile. Source: Daily Telegraph.
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