The first trains have been successfully tested on a new rail underpass in Bowden paving the way for Outer Harbor and Grange services to resume as planned on Monday.
The new Bowden Railway Station will also open on Monday, coinciding with the resumption of passenger services, which were temporarily suspended to complete the major works on the $238 million Torrens Rail Junction Project.
Three level crossings have been removed through the project, including one at Park Terrace which held up traffic on the Inner Ring Route for more than two hours on weekdays.
Level crossings at Gibson and East streets in Bowden have also been removed, further improving the safety of the road and rail network.
In recognition of the impact of the works, free travel will be extended for passengers using the Outer Harbor and Grange lines until January 28.
The new underpass removes a crossing point between the freight rail line and the Outer Harbor and Gawler passenger lines.
Removing the junction removes the need for freight trains to give way to passenger trains, which will significantly reduce delays caused by freight trains slowing or being stationary at other level crossings in Ovingham and at Torrens Road.
While train services will resume on Monday, some works will continue including:
- finishing touches to the new Bowden Station,
- final works on the Outer Harbor Greenway/shared user path including Station Place and the Parklands bridge,
- road and paving works on Park Terrace and Gibson Street,
- landscaping, and
- commissioning of pedestrian crossings.
The State Government also took advantage of the closure to carry out other works including:
- Grange Station upgrade
- Woodville Station upgrade, including a new access ramp
- Woodville Level crossing asphalt replacement
- Torrens River Rail Bridge structural and painting works
- signalling upgrade works for the Outer Harbor line
- Glanville points machine replacement
The $238 million State and Commonwealth project is supporting 212 jobs a year during construction.
Currently freight trains give way to passenger services at this railway junction, holding up valuable freight. Upgrading the freight line tracks and signalling will also allow for increased train speeds, improved reliability and reduced delays.
With the removal of three level crossings, Outer Harbor and Grange trains will no longer need to slow down at these locations and the requirement for trains to give way to one another will also be removed, improving travel times for all services.
The Torrens Rail Junction Project will also allow for longer freight trains to run between Adelaide and Melbourne, increasing capacity by up to 20 per cent.
Quotes attributable to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan
This is a project with widespread benefits for rail passengers, our road and rail freight networks, motorists and all road users.
By reducing delays caused by trains giving way to one another or vehicles waiting for trains to pass, we’re delivering faster and safer journeys for everyone on road or rail.
As with any major project, this can’t be achieved without some inconvenience and while we’re doing as much of the works as possible when passenger and freight trains are running, some of the works required disruptions to rail services.
We recognise the inconvenience the closure of the rail lines has caused, particularly to our Outer Harbor and Grange line passengers and to thank them for their patience we will provide free trips to those passengers until the 28th of January.
Construction works have been underway around the clock to get this project completed and passenger services returned as quickly as possible and I’d like to also thank everyone who has been working on this project, particularly over the festive season.
Removing the need for trains to give way to one another means faster trips for Adelaide Metro passengers, faster freight movements and fewer delays for motorists at level crossings in Ovingham and Torrens Road.
By getting rid of the level crossing at Park Terrace we’re also saving road users on the Inner Ring Route more than two hours a day spent waiting for Outer Harbor and Grange trains to go past.
The opening of the new Bowden Station is also an important milestone, especially for the award-winning Bowden residential development designed to take advantage of public transport links as well as pedestrian and cycling routes which are being upgraded through this project.