Friday 20th Sep, 2019

Port Adelaide rail extension in doubt due to increased costs

A report into the South Australian Government’s proposed construction of the Port Dock railway line and station has found the project will cost around $40 million, $24 million greater than initially budgeted.

The budget was intended to cover a one-kilometre spur line from Adelaide’s central business district to a new station at Port Adelaide’s commercial centre, Baker Street.

Further development of the spur and station have now been paused pending further investigation by the Public Transports Projects (PTP) Alliance.

“The initial $16 million of funding was committed without a full technical site assessment and concept design,” a report from the Public Transports Projects (PTP) Alliance read.

“Progressing through these has identified potential opportunities to further improve public transport services and connectivity for Port Adelaide and more broadly, the north western suburbs.”

South Australian Transport Minister Stephan Knoll said that “a responsible state government” needed to assess whether the notable increase in the project’s budget would deliver the best solution for the people of Port Adelaide and its surrounding areas.

Deputy Labor leader for South Australia Susan Close took to Twitter to criticise the Liberal state government’s decision, pointing out a photo showing thousands of concrete sleepers already in place at Port Adelaide for the spur’s construction.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Mark Butler added that the Liberals were “attacking the Port by axing the Port Dock railway station [and] spur line”.

Knoll replied to Close’s tweet by stating that the sleepers were actually purchased for future maintenance and rail projects such as the Brighton and Torrens Road level crossings.

Trains haven’t run to Port Adelaide’s centre since 1981; the old station was demolished to make way for construction of the Port Adelaide Police Station and Magistrates’ Court.

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