The event was formally marked with the installation of golden spike in a ceremony at Surfers Paradise, which was attended by Queensland's transport and main roads minister Mr Scott Emerson, federal member of parliament for Moncrieff Mr Steven Ciobo, and Gold Coast deputy mayor Mrs Donna Gates.

Emerson confirmed that test operation will begin along the whole length of the route at the start of next year in preparation for the start of passenger operations which is scheduled for mid-2014.

The GoldlinQ consortium includes Keolis, Downer EDI, McConnell Dowell Contractors, Plenary Group, and Bombardier, which is supplying a fleet of 14 Flexity 2 low-floor LRVs for the line, eight of which have been delivered so far. The consortium was awarded an 18-year public-private partnership contract worth $A 1.2bn ($US 1.11bn) to design, build, operate and maintain the line in 2011.

So far more than $A 430m has been spent on the projects and more than 2.77 million staff hours logged. "We've had plenty of excitement on the project this year with a crocodile found on the track and tusked frogs found on a worksite, but we've also achieved some serious progress with underground services, tracklaying, and tram testing," says GoldlinQ CEO Mr Phil Mumford.