AUSTRALIA: Electrification of Adelaide's 1600 mm gauge suburban network is underway as part of the South Australia government's A$2·6bn Building a Better Adelaide Metro project.

A seven-month shutdown of the Gawler line between Mawson Interchange and Gawler will allow a major revitalisation including track and level crossing upgrades, 25 kV 50 Hz electrification, station modernisation and construction of new stations at Elizabeth and Munno Para.

The Gawler line is being relayed with gauge-convertible sleepers. Coleman Rail is delivering ballast using trains comprising a road/rail prime mover attached to three ballast hoppers.

The Gawler and Noarlunga routes will be the first to be electrified, and the upgrading makes provision for conversion to standard gauge. Electric services will start in 2013, with an extension of the Noarlunga line to Seaford scheduled to open in 2014.

  • Rod Hook of the Office of Major Projects & Infrastructure described Adelaide's investment plans in the August 2009 issue of Railway Gazette International, which subscribers can access in the digital archive.