South Australia’s rail freight task has grown 106 per cent since 2000-01 and the DPTI has been investing in an efficient, integrated, safe and customer-focused transport system to move people and goods and improve the lives of all South Australians every day.
From the electrification of the services from Adelaide to Seaford, station upgrades, grade separations and a trial of free wifi complete with a virtual library with a range of digital magazine titles, we recently had the opportunity to get in insight from DPTI on the exciting new projects and developments underway to unlock the region’s potential.
The theme for AusRAIL 2016 is ‘Rail – Moving the economy forward’. What role does transport and in particular, rail play in the recently released 2016 draft update of the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide?
The integration of transport and land-use planning is essential to achieve the new urban form.
A transit-focused city for the efficient movement of people and of goods and services must be created. Access to affordable and accessible public transport is also a critical issue for many people, particularly the elderly as it can assist them to remain independent, sustain social networks and gain access to health care.
Consistent with the State Government’s Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan (ITLUP), new investment in road and rail, an expanded network of trams, a redesigned bus network and more cycling and walking networks will provide the physical infrastructure needed to increase travel options and help service a more compact Adelaide.

AdeLINK concept

AdeLINK concept

The enhancement of our transport infrastructure will deliver more efficient supply chains for our export industries and freight networks, whilst providing people with the right transport choices, no matter where they need to travel.
In particular, the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide 2016 Update highlights the State Government’s $4 million investment into the planning of the future extended AdeLINK tram network, and a $55 million investment to extend the tram network along North Terrace to the Old Royal Adelaide site.
How can transport systems and smarter travel help unlock the region’s economic potential?
South Australian businesses need the certainty of reliable road routes to deliver goods and services around the city and operate successfully. Our major export industries need to be able to move freight quickly and efficiently to domestic markets and international gateways. South Australia’s rail freight task has grown 106 per cent since 2000-01, compared with a national increase of approximately 36 per cent. In the recently released Australian Infrastructure Audit, Infrastructure Australia has also estimated that the rail freight will double between South Australia and Western Australia between 2013 and 2030. As the rail freight task continues to grow, we will need to increase the efficiency of our rail network.
Greater Adelaide is South Australia’s engine room, contributing more than 80% of Gross State Product. The patterns of production and employment are changing, with the services, information and communications technology, and retail and commercial sectors replacing manufacturing as key economic drivers. The structure of our city and its transport system will need to respond to these changes.
Of particular note in the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide 2016 Update is the fact that sea ports play an important role in supporting South Australia’s economic growth. Exports have represented an increasing share of the mining, manufacturing and wholesale trade industries, while the share of exports in the agricultural industry fluctuates over time. These four industries are those with the greatest value of exports from South Australia, and given the bulky nature of many of their products, are the heaviest export users of ports.
Given this significant ongoing growth in the freight task through the state’s ports – principally Port Adelaide – continued effort is required to protect current and future road and rail corridors, as well as sufficient land in order to preserve options for expansion. A 50 Year Port Strategy is currently being developed to position South Australia’s commercial ports to deliver not only logistics services, but broader economic growth though innovation in and around our Ports.
The South Australian Government has been a very active supporter of rail safety and safety at railway crossings. What are some of the strategies outlined in the newly-released draft Railway Crossing Safety Strategy?
There are over 710 railway crossings on public roads in metropolitan and rural South Australia and more than 360 pedestrian crossings on Adelaide’s passenger rail network.
Trains can travel at up to 110km/h, weigh over 100 tonnes and require a kilometre or more to stop – that’s six times the length of Adelaide Oval. Between 2011 and 2015, four people were killed and six people seriously injured at railway crossings and 660 near-misses were reported by rail operators.
Like many states, South Australia needs to consider closing existing crossings and discouraging construction of new crossings.
The Government will invest $12 million over the next four years for a program of upgrades at crossings while also considering reducing the number of at-grade railway crossings. The Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan also identifies the need the provide grade separated crossings at key locations on Adelaide’s passenger rail network between Brighton and Elizabeth. The State and Commonwealth Governments are already jointly providing significant investment to grade separate the Outer Harbor passenger rail line at Park Terrace on the Inner Ring Route, and South Road, as part of the $238 million Torrens Rail Junction and the $896 million North-South Corridor Torrens Road to River Torrens projects.
Park Terrace grade separation -  Outer Harbor passenger rail line

Park Terrace grade separation – Outer Harbor passenger rail line

Visit to read the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s Draft Railway Crossing Safety Strategy discussion paper and learn more about the various safety issues at railway crossings in South Australia and strategies and improvements to address them.
‘Listen, Partner, Innovate’ is the approach for the DPTI’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2020. Can you briefly describe what this entails?
At DPTI, our purpose it to work as part of the community to deliver effective planning policy, efficient transport, and valuable social and economic infrastructure that will improve the lives of all South Australians every day; operate as one business, best in class, that delivers for our residents and growing our economy; and embody simplicity, effectiveness and accountability.
In achieving this purpose, our approach is to listen to the needs of the community, stakeholders and industries with which we work, and partner with relevant organisations, private enterprises and groups to innovate and achieve the best possible outcomes for South Australians.
There have been a number of major projects completed since AusRAIL was last in Adelaide in 2009. What are some of the new projects and services that interstate and internal visitors to Adelaide this November should ensure they look out for and enjoy?
Since 2009, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure has completed a number of significant rail infrastructure projects:

  • Adelaide Metro is currently developing a public transport mobile app and we want your feedback to help us build the best app for what our customers want to make Adelaide Metro as accessible to all users as possible. To do the survey today and let us know what you want from your Adelaide Metro public transport app, visit
  • Tram commuters can now read their favourite magazines free of charge while on-board from today thanks to a new joint initiative. The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Libraries SA and APN Outdoor have teamed up in a six-month trial to provide free downloads of up to 400 magazine titles via the free on-board Wi-Fi service. Commuters will have access to magazines such as Woman’s Day, Woman’s Weekly, Australian House and Garden, Delicious, Money, Men’s Fitness, Wheels and New Scientist magazines. Anyone who is a member of any public library in South Australia or who signs up as a member will have access to the full range of digital magazine titles, which includes hundreds of other publications. For more information, visit
  • Following on from the first highly successful tram line extension from Victoria Square to City West, the next stage extended the tram line another 2.8 kilometres along North Terrace onto Port Road to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The project also included a Park ‘n’ Ride facility at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, providing an attractive alternative to driving and parking in the City. The extended line opened for full scheduled services on 22 March 2010.
  • The South Road Upgrade – Glenelg Tram Overpass project, completed in 2010, has successfully reduced queue lengths at the busy South Road / ANZAC Highway intersection and increased safety for pedestrian users. The project has provided pedestrian access to the elevated platform by lifts and stairs and across South Road, good tram and bus connections, a secure and user friendly area, and a facility that incorporates landscaping and urban design in character with the local area.
  • The Goodwood Junction Upgrade, completed in 2013, separated the existing freight and Belair passenger lines from the Seaford line, removing the need for trains on either track to stop and give way. Construction of the rail underpass, near Victoria Street, has lowered the Seaford line below ground level, with the freight and Belair lines above. The project included new and upgraded rail infrastructure along with new pedestrian facilities for the community. In 2014,  the project won the ‘Category 4 Project Value ($20m – $75m) Award at the South Australian Civil Contractors Federation Earth Awards.
  • The Adelaide Showground Station opened on 17 February 2014, and is adjacent to the Adelaide Showgrounds replacing both the temporary Showground Station that was constructed each year for the Royal Adelaide Show, along with the ageing Keswick Railway Station. The new station provides better access for bicycle users, travellers carrying prams or in wheelchairs, and around one million users of the showgrounds at all times of the year.  It also ties in with future development plans for the surrounding precinct, representing an enhanced infrastructure investment for South Australia.
  • The Seaford line was the first to be electrified, giving passengers a state of the art, environmentally friendly and efficient train service to support the rapidly expanding southern suburbs well into the future. The project provides a 5.7 kilometre extension of the dual track rail line from Noarlunga Centre Railway Station to the Seaford District Centre, including stations and Park ‘n’ Ride facilities at Seaford Meadows and the Seaford District Centre, along with a new bus interchange. A 1.2 kilometre elevated rail bridge over the Onkaparinga Valley and a rail bridge over the Onkaparinga Valley and a rail bridge over Old Honeypot Drive, with road bridges over the track at Goldsmith Drive, Seaford Road and Lynton Terrace. Services from Adelaide to Seaford commenced on 23 February 2014, consisting of a mix of the new electric trains and the existing diesel fleet.

Seaford rail line
Seaford rail line

  • An electrification and upgrade of the Belair line (from Goodwood Station to Adelaide Railway Station) was completed in 2014 to provide critical operational flexibility for Adelaide’s first electric rail service on the Seaford and Tonsley lines. The works included upgrading the track formation and ballast, improving drainage, improving the track geometry and alignment within the existing rail corridor, installing over 20,000 new long-life gauge convertible concrete sleepers and new rail.  Renewal of the Belair line will provide reliable and comfortable services for commuters well into the future.
  • The Adelaide Railway Station officially opened its North Terrace site in 1856. A refurbishment, completed in 2015, has improved the stations capacity to handle large volumes of people moving through the concourse since the completion of the nearby successful Adelaide Oval redevelopment and the Riverbank Precinct. The upgrade included new escalators at the southern end, reconfiguration of the northern and western sides, improved and additional visual signage for customers, a new information centre and upgrade public toilets. The latest improvements provide a better and easier experience for all customers in the railway station.

DPTI_cmyk_VDPTI are proudly sponsoring the AusRAIL 2016 Welcome Reception on Monday 21 November. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a drink with colleagues and some early informal networking while beating the rush of Tuesday morning’s registration.

AusRAIL 2016 Welcome Reception Monday 21 November 2016
When: 4.00pm – 6.00pm
Where: Adelaide Convention & Exhibition Centre
Dress: Smart casual

*All images courtesy of DPTI SA