The upgrade of Queensland's rail services in the lead-up to the Coast Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast next year is going ahead of schedule, according to Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport Jackie Trad.
She said claimed that the AUD$163 million (£96.5 million/$128 million/€109 million) project had been successfully commissioned over last weekend ahead of today's six-month to go milestone for the Commonwealth Games.
"Queensland Rail crews have been working around the clock to ensure the project was delivered on time and under budget in preparation for the Games next year," Trad said.
"These are the kinds of significant infrastructure projects the [the Queensland Premier Anna] Palaszczuk Government is delivering right across the Gold Coast.
"Duplicating the last remaining section of single track on the Gold Coast line between Coomera and Helensvale is crucial to meeting the future public transport needs of the growing Gold Coast community.
"This project has also provided a significant economic boost for the community, with local labour and materials used wherever possible.
"Throughout the life of the project, more than 200 jobs have been delivered in the local construction industry.
"That’s in addition to the much anticipated 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games which is expected to inject AUD$2 billion (£2 billion/$1.6 billion/€1.3 billion) into the Queensland economy and generate around 30,000 jobs for our state."
Trad added: "Queensland Rail crews and contractors have delivered a collective 450,000 hours of work since the start of construction in March last year, to deliver the 8.2 kilometre heavy rail duplication, including eight new rail bridges totalling 1.4 kilometres in length.
"This includes an impressive 860 metre bridge spanning across the Coomera River, Hope Island Road and Saltwater Creek, 180 new overhead masts, 50,000 metres of cabling, and the laying of 18,000 metres of rail, 13,000 sleepers and 30,000 tonnes of ballast.
"Trad added that train station refresh works were also now well underway along the Gold Coast line in preparation to welcome local, interstate and international visitors to the city in April.
"Customers travelling on the Gold Coast line will notice works now underway at Ormeau, Coomera, Helensvale, Nerang and Robina stations as we work to ensure stations along the line are looking their best in preparation for the Games.
"A lift upgrade at Helensvale is also set to open to the public next week, while the first stage of the Helensvale bus interchange upgrade is now well underway, which will link customers to stage two of the Gold Coast Light Rail, when it opens early next year.
"We are working hard to ensure the Gold Coast’s rail network is ready to play host to this internationally anticipated event."