TrackStar Alliance (QR, Thiess, United Group Infrastructure, Aurecon and AECOM) was commissioned by Queensland Rail to undertake concept planning, prepare a cost plan and identify property requirements for the 12.1km rail extension from the turnback at Varsity Lakes Station to Tugun Station. This extension provides a dual track to Tugun with stations at Tallebudgera, Elanora and Tugun and allows for a possible quadruplication to Tallebudgera.
The Varsity Lakes to Tugun rail alignment is a refinement of the Queensland Transport Impact Assessment Study alignment.
The study included providing planning for delivery of the rail extension as three projects. Key structures included two 3.3km long viaduct structures, four overpasses, two underpasses, a landmark two 105m span twin steel arch bridge, and twin 800m long tunnels.
Station precinct planning including local road realignment works which considered seamless integration and transport connectivity at station locations, such as The Pines Shopping Centre at Elanora.
TrackStar Alliance’s planning had to take into account that the proposed rail extension is located within a constrained urban transport corridor which traverses a landfill, a quarry, the Pacific Motorway, navigable creeks, and a tunnel as well as isolated habitat areas. This required great attention to detail as well a sound understanding of many areas of expertise including hydraulic studies, environment studies and extensive stakeholder consultation.
A highly collaborative approach among agencies involved collaborative design coordination between Energex, Department of Transport and Main Roads, Gold Coast City Council and Queensland Rail stakeholders.
The planning study also provides an optimised alignment, layouts, cost plan and recommendations for future stages, ultimately to Gold Coast Airport.