Light Rail Stage 2A: City to Commonwealth Park

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Project overview

Light Rail Stage 2A will extend the light rail system from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park. The 1.7km extension will follow along London Circuit West. It will feature stops at Edinburgh Avenue and City South. It will feature new stops at Edinburgh Avenue, City South, and Commonwealth Park.

Stage 2A reached a major milestone in 2023 with the signing a of a contract with long term delivery partner Canberra Metro. Construction is set start on the project in late 2024.

Light Rail Stage 2A will provide greater connection between the city and the lake. It will support active travel in the city by including new cycling and walking infrastructure. Several new trees will improve the urban landscape as part of the project.

Light Rail Stage 2A is jointly funded by the Australian and ACT Governments.

Map showing three new light rail stops at Edinburgh Avenue, City South and Commonwealth Park

Project features

Light rail Stage 2A features

Powered by renewables: Batteries will be retrofitted to the light rail fleet. This will enable wire free travel between Alinga Street and Commonwealth Park.

Accessible: People of all abilities can use light rail. It supports the use of wheelchairs and prams. Active travellers can bring their bicycles or scooters aboard, which can extend the reach of their commute.

Convenient: People will be able to board a service every 5-15 minutes on the extended route. Light rail vehicles have three times the capacity of a bus.

Landscape and aesthetic features

Stage 2A plans introduce landscape and aesthetic features that transform London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue. Features include:

  • a landscape that will preserve and strengthen the historic character of Commonwealth Avenue as a wide tree-lined boulevard. This includes proposed pin oak plantings in the Commonwealth Avenue median
  • green track sections on parts of Northbourne Avenue, London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue. Green tracks help reduce glare, noise, and dust. It absorbs rainwater and helps the track blend into the surrounding landscape
  • construction of a new bridge over Parkes Way for light rail. It will lay in between the two Commonwealth Avenue bridges
  • a discreet wire-free track to maintain Canberra’s iconic landmarks and views.

Render of the alinga street intersection with London Circuit. Showcases vibrant landscaping.

Safety features

The proposed design includes a range of safety features for cyclists and pedestrians. Features include:

  • dedicated or separated paths for pedestrians and cyclists
  • two new signalised intersections on London Circuit at West Row and University Avenue. They will provide safe and controlled pedestrian and cyclist crossings
  • in-ground pedestrian lights in key locations. They will alert and remind pedestrians to cross light rail tracks safely
  • protected cycle ways on newly designed intersections. They will be London Circuit and Northbourne Avenue, and London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue.
  • a cobbled median on London Circuit West. It will help pedestrians and cyclists differentiate the light rail corridor from the roadway.

Render of London Circuit and Commonwealth Avenue bridge level intersection.

Green track prototype

The light rail corridor will include sections of green track as part of Light Rail Stage 2A.

Canberrans can now see the Green Track prototype on display at the National Arboretum.

It will trial green track design, construction, and maintenance. This includes testing:

  • suitability of certain grass, ground cover and tree species for Canberra’s climate
  • different types of green track irrigation systems
  • green track finishes including turf and cobblestones.

The prototype will be monitored throughout 2024. This will inform the final green track design, construction, and maintenance approach.

The prototype will be removed after 12 months of testing. Imported topsoil and the irrigation system will remain in place for future use by the National Arboretum.

If you're heading to the Arboretum to see the prototype, the best place to park is in the main car park near the Village Centre and walk through past the Gallery of Gardens.

Image of the Green Track Protoype at the National Arboretum

Light rail depot expansion

The expanded Light rail depot in Mitchell will be completed soon. It will provide space for the existing light rail fleet to be fitted with battery technology. This will allow for wire-free running of the entire fleet.

Five new light rail vehicles are under production. These new vehicles will pre-fitted with battery technology. They will help maintain a consistent light rail service while the existing vehicles are upgraded.

Light rail flythrough: Stage 2A