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Gawler project in final stages

Critical testing is underway on South Australia’s Gawler Rail Line as the vital and long-awaited electrification project enters its final stages.

The Gawler Rail Electrification Project (GREP) was hit with unavoidable setbacks in 2021 caused by the COVID pandemic, including an inability to bring the required number of highly specialised workers across the border from interstate, and manufacturing shutdowns during extended lockdowns in other states.

Following months of hard work by the project team to minimise the impacts, the project is now closer to completion with services expected to be commencing in April.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the commissioning activities of the signalling system will require impacts to the entire Adelaide Metro Network during the period 18-21 February, with all lines closed on 19 and 20 February.

“GREP has been hit time and time again with avoidable and unavoidable setbacks,” he said.

“We’re finally delivering a project that’s been on the cards for the people of the north for more than a decade.

“The pandemic has been the contributing factor to an additional cost pressure of $127 million taking the project cost to $842 million.

“We are not going to cut corners on safety so that we can start services a few days or weeks earlier.

“The rail infrastructure is nearing completion as we access the specialised skills we need for the final stages of commissioning. We will then move into the final signalling and electrical testing phases, before undertaking driver training.

“This testing and training will include both diesel and electric trains operating along the new corridor, to familiarise drivers with the new line.

“We’ve also been refreshing a number of stations along the Gawler line as part of a $20 million program to provide a better commuter experience when services resume.

“We know people are eagerly awaiting the return of the trains, and we’re doing all that we can to see that happen as soon as possible.”

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