Gold Coast residents have been afforded a glimpse of the new extensions of what their railway system could look like in a few years, with the QLD Government last week announcing the start of a detailed design plan for the glitter strip’s new Cross River Rail stations.

GHD Group have been awarded the design contract for the three new train stations at Pimpama, Merrimac and Helensvale North, with its architectural arm GHD Woodhead tasked with creating the design plans for the stations themselves.

In a welcome boost to the economy, 20 full-time jobs will be created through the project’s design process, and many of those will include graduate engineers, scientists and cadet technicians based in GHD’s Gold Coast and Brisbane offices.

QLD premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the stations are a small part of the greater picture that is the government’s state infrastructure overhaul.

“This is the very first important step towards building three new stations on the coast as part of my government’s $56 billion infrastructure guarantee,” the Premier said.

“Investing in these stations alongside our $1 billion M1 upgrade, $1.5 billion second M1 and $709 million light rail stage 3 is an important part of our economic recovery and will put the Gold Coast in the fast lane when it comes to transport and jobs through COVID-19.”

QLD minister for transport and main roads Mark Bailey says the company will be involved in many crucial aspects of the design.

“GHD will refine the existing concept designs for each station, producing detailed designs, documentation and approvals ready for construction.

“As part of the detailed design phase, additional studies will be undertaken including construction methodology, noise modelling, flood modelling and flora and fauna studies.

“Community feedback and input is being considered as part of the detailed design phase and there will be another opportunity for public consultation on the updated designs later this year, with nearby communities to be notified well in advance.”

Early investigations are underway, including geotechnical works, surveying and environmental studies, after initial community consultation took place in late 2019.

Detailed designs for all three stations will be developed during 2021, with all three stations being operational by the time the Cross River Rail opens in 2025.