Gawler line electrification plan back on track

Gawler line electrification plan back on track

The on-again off-again plan to electrify the Gawler rail line in Adelaide is back on, but will still only make it to Salisbury.

The South Australian Government has revealed the project will now roll out to Salisbury by 2015, but no further in the foreseeable future.

Commuters travelling beyond Salisbury will have to swap trains or catch a diesel service for the entire journey.

The electrification plan for the Gawler line was suspended last year because of budget concerns, but the most recent announcement is in line with the state’s ambitious plan to revitalise transport infrastructure over the next 30 years.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the line will be electrified to the end of the line at Gawler when the government has the resources.

The government has promised the construction phase will run smoothly.

“There’ll be minimal disruptions to diesel services while we electrify this line,” Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis said.

But the Opposition said the government was just rehashing.

“Many of the projects they are now putting forward are projects they’ve previously announced, scrapped, or postponed,” Opposition leader Steven Marshall said.

Meanwhile, the testing of diesel trains on the delayed southern line continues, with the expectation they will be ready by mid next month and electric services will be ready in the New Year.