Canberra Light Rail

As part of the Government’s vision to deliver a sustainable, connected public transport system for Australia’s capital, Transport Canberra is investing in a state-of-the-art metropolitan light rail network.


The development of a light rail network for Canberra is being staged to provide progressive benefits to the community. Construction of Stage 1 (between Canberra city and Gungahlin) is well advanced with light rail operations to commence in 2020. Stage 2 (between Canberra city and Woden town centre) is now in the planning phase.

Birdeyes of Canberra Light Rail train fleet parked up at Gungahlin place

Image credit: Transport Canberra


RPS has been involved from the commencement of the project and has undertaken various roles on Stage 1 and Stage 2. Supporting the mobilisation of Transport Canberra’s light rail project office, our team has advised on governance and reporting arrangements for the delivery body, while laying the foundations for effective stakeholder engagement through project positioning and articulation of the benefits and service outcomes.

Engaged as transaction manager for the procurement of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) formed to deliver Stage 1, our team coordinated technical, legal and commercial advisers during the request for information phase and managed the tender evaluation process.

RPS was also engaged by Arup as lead environmental consultant for the preliminary design and environmental investigations for Phase 2 of the project, which will connect to Stage 1 (City to Gungahlin) and extend the network 12 kilometres to Woden town centre via City West and Barton.


Our Stage 2 environment team led the preparation of environmental corridor studies, a preliminary environmental assessment and long-lead specialist studies as inputs for a future Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Key studies undertaken include heritage, biodiversity, noise and vibration, traffic and transport, visual impact and contaminated land.

Protecting Canberra's heritage

With Stage 2 of the project to pass through Canberra's Parliamentary Zone which contains iconic buildings such as Parliament House, the Museum of Australian Democracy, National Library and National Gallery, avoiding impacts to heritage, cultural and aesthetic assets has been a high priority. The environmental constraints analysis that our team prepared provided vital guidance to the technical team as they compared route options through the zone, with a preferred option announced in April 2018.

Project statistics

Year transport vision for Canberra
24 km
Network length (12 km each stage)

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