Tram Crash Gold Coast – Renewed Safety Fears for Sydney Light Rail

Firefighters and conductor injured in fire truck and tram collision in Surfers Paradise



Amanda Robbemond and Lea Emery, Gold Coast Bulletin

January 15, 2017 2:26pm

TWO firefighters and a tram conductor have been injured in a tram and fire truck collision this morning in Surfers Paradise.

The tram and fire engine collided just after 7.30am on the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Surfers Paradise Boulevard.

Police Inspector Mark Pengelly said it would be a while before the tram would be placed back onto the rails and heavy machinery would be required to remove it.

“Indications is somebody has gone through a red light, either the fire truck or the tram has,” he said.

“Obviously it’s going to delay things a bit.”

Queensland Ambulance Service acting senior operations supervisor Justin Payne said paramedics had attended to three patients with minor injuries and assessed 12 passengers.

Two were taken to Gold Coast University Hospital while the third was taken to Gold Coast Private Hospital.


The tram was pushed off the tracks after a collision with a fire truck in Surfers Paradise.

Mr Payne said QAS worked well with fire emergency services and it was good to see the fire fighters did not have very serious injuries.

He said it appeared that the two firefighters injured had hurt themself on the truck’s window.

The tram conductor’s left door was damaged during the incident, and it appeared the tram had been pushed off the tracks.

Shattered glass and debris from the tram was scattered around the front of the tram.

The fire truck was damaged on its right-hand side with a twisted side door.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services duty manager Christopher Robinson said the police were investigating but confirmed there were four firefighters on board at the time.

“They had been coming back from an emergency incident … two firefighters were injured and transported to Gold Coast University Hospital,” he said.

The collision pushed the tram slightly across the other tram track.

“It’s early stages, the process is to get Glink back online and make the area safe.”

QFES will work with police on the investigation.

Glink staff were on-site assessing damage and were using special wooden blocks and a jack to shift the tram above the tracks.

Police are on scene directing traffic around the crash and a small section of Surfers Paradise Blvd is closed.

People are advised to avoid the area.

Trams are still running between Gold Coast University Hospital and Cavill Ave.


Blazened across the Gold Coast Tram is the sign “Take Care When You Cross The Tracks” and the picture of the 40 tonne Rhino. This is on the side of the tram because trams kill people. You only need to look at this Gold Coast Safety video, to see how concerned they are about safety.

The Gold Coast Light Rail is, thankfully, largely separated from the traffic. The Future Sydney Light Rail, however is largely on-road for the majority of the route, needs to cross 78 intersections, and not separated from cars, cyclists or pedestrians, and without any protective fencing. Safety analysts see this as a recipe for disaster and have forecast casualties and fatalities.

Not only the safety, but just imagine if there was any incident, casualty, or fatality on the Sydney Light Rail. This would shut down the entire Tram network from Kingsford and Randwick to Circular Quay. Buses would come to the rescue, but, likely the city would go into gridlock.

John Bellamy, Convenor of the Sydney Light Rail Action Group said, “Its one thing to build a tram that has less capacity than current buses, and to kill and maim 1,500 inner Sydney Trees, and congest the city and economy, but have a thought for the cyclists, motorists and pedestrians that will become the inevitable casualties and fatalities of the CBD and South East Light Rail or Sydney Light Rail. The secret safety report they didn’t want you to see has already factored in a certain number of deaths on average per year.”

Mr Bellamy went on to say “Yes, buses kill people too, and so do cars, but we don’t ban them from the road; they are designed to be on the road. But this CBD and South East Light Rail Project, this Sydney Light Rail is an irresponsible and deeply flawed project, and we will continue to ask for Government, Business and the community to come to a win win bipartisan solution to this Train Wreck of epic proportions.We are not opposed to light rail in principle, but at the very least, the trains should be in a completely separate corridor from cars, bikes and pedestrians. It is the only way to ensure that there are minimal casualties and fatailities.” he said.

Mr Bellamy can be contacted on (02) 8958 3783 for further information.



  1. How safe will the third rail ground level power system used in Sydney CBD be? What is the 100% assurance that the electricity will always shut off? What wil be the situation immediately behind the tram where impatient pedestrians like to cross the line?

    The is the case from Bordeaux.

    “Modern ground-level current collection was pioneered by the Bordeaux tramway in France. The public had assumed that the new system would use a traditional conduit system, like that of the Bordeaux trams which ran prior to 1958 and objected when they learned that it was not considered safe and that overhead wires were to be used instead. Facing complaints both from the public and the French Ministry of Culture, planners developed APS as a modern way of replicating the conduit system.
    APS was developed by Innorail, a subsidiary of Spie Enertrans but was sold to Alstom when Spie was acquired by Amec.[2]
    There are 12 km of APS tramway in the three-line network of 43.3 km as of 2008. Bordeaux Citadis trams use pantographs and electric overhead lines in outlying areas.
    Before use in Bordeaux, APS was tested and proved viable on a short section of reserved-track in the French city of Marseille. Nevertheless, Bordeaux has experienced problems, with APS being so temperamental that, at one stage, the Mayor issued an ultimatum that if reliability could not be guaranteed, it would have to be replaced with overhead wires.
    Problems have included water-logging, when the water does not drain quickly enough after heavy rain.
    In other cities”


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