First train tested along new Port Dock spur line, marking milestone in $51m Adelaide revival project

The inaugural test run of the Port Dock Railway spur line marks a major advancement in the $51 million project aimed at rejuvenating Port Adelaide’s transport system, with complete operations beginning in August.

The South Australian Government recently achieved a significant milestone in the Port Dock Railway Line Project with the successful operation of the first test train along the newly constructed spur line. This $51 million initiative is aimed at reinstating critical rail services to the hub of Port Adelaide and is expected to complete by late August.

The test involved the train journeying from Woodville Station, travelling along the Outer Harbor line, and finally entering the Port Dock Railway Station. The main function of this run was to monitor the effectiveness of the completed tracks and signal system. The newly launched 1km spur line extends to connect the Port Dock station, along with a newly developed plaza and bus interchange situated on Baker Street, to the current Outer Harbor rail track.

Adding to the pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure, the redevelopment project not only promises to enhance the connectivity but also to improve the commuter experience significantly. The decision to reintroduce the railway service is part of a broader campaign to revitalize the Port Adelaide area, enhancing its appeal to residents, workers, and tourists.

At the helm of the test train was Brett Watson, a seasoned Adelaide Metro train driver with nearly 14 years of experience. Speaking about his role in this pivotal test run, Watson expressed pride in being a part of this crucial phase of the project.

Watson stated, “It is great to see the Port Dock Railway Line Project moving closer to completion, and I’m proud to have been chosen to drive the first test train along the re-connected line.

“The testing of the signalling system is a vital part of the project, to make sure everything is working as it should or to identify any issues that might need to be rectified.

“It was a successful test, and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to regularly drive trains to Port Dock Railway Station once regular services commence.”

Tom Koutsantonis, South Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, hailed the test run as a seminal progress point for the project. He said “Testing of the rail signalling system is a vital part of the project to return trains along the re-established line to Port Dock Railway Station.

“It’s genuinely exciting to see a train again travelling into the Port down the 1km spur line, and it is of course a significant milestone as we move closer to the project being completed.

“Once open in late August, the new Port Dock Railway Station and bus interchange will provide an dedicated rail and bus service for the many people who live and work in the heart of Port Adelaide, as well as visitors to the area.”

Currently, the project serves as a key driver of employment in the region. With the support of the South Australian Government, the development is sustaining 100 full-time equivalent positions during its construction phase.

As the project nears its expected launch in August, the first successful deployment of the test train marks a pivotal step towards re-establishing and modernising the railway system in one of South Australia’s key localities.

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