Gold Coast Heavy Rail Extension – Varsity Lakes to Gold Coast Airport

We are undertaking a review of the preserved Gold Coast Heavy Rail Corridor between Varsity Lakes and Gold Coast Airport. The project will confirm the future corridor requirements are compatible and complementary to the South East Queensland (SEQ) rail network and can integrate with other developments and infrastructure within southern Gold Coast.  

The Gold Coast Heavy Rail Extension—Varsity Lakes to Gold Coast Airport project will update planning previously undertaken by the 'Robina to Tugun Impact Assessment Study – 2009' to support population and economic growth in the area. 

The Cross River Rail project is the Queensland Government’s highest priority infrastructure project which will increase capacity at the core of the rail network and provide the necessary additional capacity to allow for other growth projects on SEQ's rail network, including the potential extension of the rail line between Varsity Lakes and Gold Coast Airport.


  • Improves network efficiency
  • Reduces peak hour congestion
  • Increases capacity
  • Improves safety
  • Contributes to regional growth
  • Better active transport

Key features

The future corridor may include:

  • 4 new proposed stations at Tallebudgera, Elanora, Tugun and Gold Coast Airport
  • Park 'n' Rides and associated facilities 
  • Active Transport provisions along the corridor
  • maintenance access roads and stabling facilities. 


In 2005, a proposed corridor to extend heavy rail south of Robina to Tugun was identified. Following community consultation, a preferred corridor between Robina and Tugun was preserved in 2008. The first stage between Robina and Varsity Lakes was then constructed in 2009. Further investigations were also conducted in 2009 as part of a wider Robina to Tugun Rail Impact Assessment Study that considered technical, environmental, social and economic impacts on a preferred rail alignment.

The South East Queensland Regional Transport Plan 2021 confirms the Varsity Lakes to Gold Coast extension as part of long-term planning.

Next steps

We will continue to review and protect the preserved rail corridor, ensuring current and future land use is compatible and development is complementary to a future high-quality public transport connection.