Sunday 18th Nov, 2018

South Australia Budget sees Metro rail projects canned

However, the planned electrification of the line to Noarlunga and new extension to Seaford will still go ahead as planned, but the lines from Adelaide to Outer Harbor and to Gawler will continue to be operated with diesel railcars.

The Government says a record revenue write-down has forced it to amend its rail infrastructure program through the partial suspension of its Adelaide Metro electrification program which it says will save it $372.9 million through to 2015/16.

Plans for light rail extensions to Port Adelaide, West Lakes and Semaphore have also been put on hold as the result of the suspension of the proposed standardisation of the metropolitan network originally scheduled for 2015/16, which the Government says will save it $35 million in that financial year.

Adelaide‘s tram network is standard gauge and therefore not compatible with the broad gauge heavy rail network. Trams and trains were to have shared the tracks between Bowden and Port Adelaide as part of these extensions.

Other station improvement and upgrading works over the Adelaide Metro rail network which includes installation of gauge convertible concrete sleepers will not be impacted by the budget cuts.

The Government has 22 three-car 25kv overhead electric units on order from Bombardier Transportation for the new electric services, but the planned conversion of the existing diesel railcar fleet to electric power for the Gawler and Outer Harbor lines will not now go ahead.

Treasurer Jack Snelling said, “Train capacity will be increased by around 25 per cent with new electric rail cars servicing the Tonsley and Noarlunga line and through to Seaford from the end of 2013/early 2014.

“This will mean there will be a greater number of existing diesel railcars on the remaining lines which will lead to increased services while we wait for revenues to return to more normal levels before proceeding with the electrification of the Gawler and Outer Harbor lines.”

In its Budget announcement, the SA Government has committed to spend $110 million in 2012-13 for the recently announced grade separation of ARTC and Adelaide Metro tracks at Goodwood. This is the first stage of the joint State and Commonwealth Government funded $443 million upgrade of the Goodwood and Torrens rail junctions. Work will coincide with the Noarlunga line upgrade and electrification project.

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