Australian Capital Territory

Early designs unveiled for Capital Metro light rail project

CANBERRA'S Capital Metro light rail project will connect the City to Gungahlin via a 12 kilometre route along the centre median of Northbourne Avenue, the Federal Highway, Flemington Road and Hibberson Street and include up to 13 potential stops and a depot at Mitchell, according to early designs unveiled by the ACT Government last week.

The proposed route will start and finish just north of Alinga Street in the city and just east of Gungahlin Place on Hibberson Street in Gungahlin. The terminus at Alinga Street was selected to allow future extension options to be fully explored by the light rail master plan that is currently under way.

The designs also reveal a preference for an overhead power supply for the light rail vehicles, with seven substations to be spread along the alignment. The existing trees on Northbourne Avenue are expected to be removed and replaced with a single line of trees on either side of the light rail track and new signalised intersections will be introduced at some points along the route.

As part of a six-week community engagement program, the ACT Government is seeking feedback to help further develop the design. A survey is available online and a Capital Metro pop-up shop has been opened on Mort Street in the CBD.

Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell, said it was the first opportunity for the community to see what light rail in Canberra might look like. "I would encourage everyone to visit the pop-up shop, look at the proposed design and provide feedback," he said.

"As this is an early design, no decisions have been made on the final product, so this is the most opportune time to influence the end design," the Minister said, adding that feedback provided will feed into next stages of design that will provide the basis for expressions of interest later this year.

"Light Rail will deliver so much more than a transport benefit for Canberra and this is why the ACT Government has been so intent on planning for the future and is committed to delivering city-changing infrastructure. We look forward to hearing what the community has to say about these designs," Mr Corbell said.

According to the early designs, key features of the Capital Metro light rail project include:

  • A 12-kilometre route along the centre median of Northbourne Avenue, the Federal Highway, Flemington Road and Hibberson Street;
  • The proposed route will start and finish just north of Alinga Street in the city and just east of Gungahlin Place on Hibberson Street in Gungahlin;
  • 15 potential stops have been identified along the route, which are expected to narrowed down to 13;
  • Light rail vehicles will be capable of carrying a minimum of 200 people;
  • Overhead power supply with seven substations spread along the alignment;
  • A depot at Flemington Road in Mitchell, nearby the ACT Government building at 9 Sandford Street;
  • An expected journey time of 25 minutes or less between the City and Gungahlin;
  • Five minute service frequencies during weekday peak times, 15 minute service frequencies after 6pm and 10 minute service frequencies at other weekday times;
  • On the weekends, services frequencies are expected to be at least every 15 minutes on Saturdays and at least every 20 minutes on Sundays;
  • Light rail stops will be designed to maximise accessibility and include improved verge footpaths, pedestrian signalised crossings and wide platform boarding areas;
  • Every light rail stop will also include audio call/help points, CCTV cameras and Audio Frequency Induction Loops (AFIL) for the hearing impaired; and
  • Light rail will be integrated into the existing MyWay smartcard ticketing system.

More information is available from the Capital Metro website at <http://www.capitalmetro.act.gov.au/>.

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