Galwer rail line mural

The newly electrified Gawler rail line in South Australia reopened to passengers in June 2022, providing a much-improved piece of transport infrastructure for the people of Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

The completion of the project now delivers an electrified network through Adelaide, from Gawler in the north to Seaford in the south. The electrified line, together with the progressive introduction of 12 new electric trains, is set to provide a cleaner, greener, quieter and faster service for the thousands of passengers who use the line every day.

The line will be fully serviced by electric trains from mid-2023. With the line now in operation, South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Tom Koutsantonis, was very pleased to see commuters embracing the modernised service.

“It has been very exciting to see passenger trains running once again and so many people enjoying the more efficient service, with more than 10,500 passengers on average using the line each weekday since it reopened on 12 June this year,” Mr Koutsantonis said. “The reopening of the Gawler rail line has been a gamechanger for the people of the northern suburbs who are now enjoying a smoother, quieter journey. We recently reached a fantastic milestone with our millionth passenger travelling on board the line.

“We expect that even more people will leave their cars at home and embrace public transport to and from the northern suburbs with such a convenient and comfortable option available. “A number of stations along the Gawler rail line have also been refreshed to provide a better experience for commuters using the train services. “I’d encourage anyone planning to travel between the CBD and the northern suburbs to jump on a train, sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.”

What upgrades were made?

14 stations along the line have been upgraded and refreshed, with improvements ranging from new and refurbished shelters, new seating and bins to LED lighting upgrades, painting and landscaping. To improve safety for pedestrians, 13 existing pedestrian crossings along the line are being upgraded to active crossings.

Active crossings use gates that close automatically when a train is approaching and reopen once the train has passed, and it is safe to cross. Five are complete, with the remaining eight to be operational by early 2023. The rail corridor has also had improved fencing installed to increase safety.

Passengers at Gawler Central Station are now able to cross the line via the new King Street pedestrian bridge, fabricated entirely in South Australia with a local workforce and using locally sourced materials. The new structure replaced the old King Street Bridge, which was too low to accommodate the infrastructure required for the electrification of the Gawler rail line.

A stunning new mural has been completed alongside the bridge as part of the volunteer-managed Rail Care program. The artwork, created by street artist Adam Poole-Mottishaw, depicts the Gawler township and local area, past and present.

Complex work required for completion

Electrifying the line was a complex project, requiring highly specialised workers from interstate. Detailed planning, together with skilled resources, were required to ensure the project was delivered safely and in accordance with the Rail Safety Act 2012.

The project included constructing a 58km combined services trench for the installation of new fibre optic communications cabling, installing more than 350km of conduit and 456km of signalling cable, and the installation of the 25kV overhead wiring system, concrete foundations and masts which support the overhead wiring network.

Management of vegetation clearance to electrical wires is an integral part of the safe operation of an electrified rail network. The project team worked closely with the relevant authorities, local councils and interested parties to minimise and manage impacts to vegetation, trees and wildlife habitats.

The South Australian and Australian governments committed $842 million towards the Gawler Rail Electrification Project, which supported, on average, approximately 675 full-time equivalent jobs per year over the life of the project. The opening of the Gawler Line was highly anticipated, with the community and businesses along the line embracing its reopening and were thrilled to have an efficient, easy and modern public transport available at their doorstep.

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1 Comment
  1. Alkè 1 year ago

    Gawler’s new electrified rail line provides an undoubtedly more environmentally sustainable, faster and quieter public transportation solution for local residents. It will greatly reduce pollutant emissions and, in addition, drastically reduce the classic noise produced by trains, allowing a quieter life even for those who live near the railway. Further proof of the benefits offered by electric transportation. We hope that this solution will be implemented in as many cities as possible!

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