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Railway_Digest__February_2018

News Regional freight

News Regional freight study to determine future options for Eyre Peninsula rail network The SA Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) and Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) will invest $150,000 to deliver an Eyre Peninsula freight strategy and investigate options for the upgrading of the rail network. SMEC Australia Pty Ltd has been engaged to undertake the $150,000 transport study and business case development. The rail study will investigate: • The economic viability of the Eyre Peninsula rail network and examine the infrastructure investment required to upgrade the network to support future rail freight operations. • The potential to rejuvenate the existing rail network to meet export needs, modelling the cost of alternative supply chain options, and the impact of proposed regional port infrastructure projects. • Freight infrastructure proposals currently under consideration for Eyre Peninsula that have the potential to impact future grain volumes on the existing rail network. • The current lower and central Eyre Peninsula freight task across all major industries and identify the optimal modal mix for the Eyre Peninsula. The strategic investigation will form part of the broader freight study encompassing the lower and central Eyre Peninsula including rail, road and port infrastructure. The final SMEC Australia report is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018. The need to investigate rail improvements on the Eyre Peninsula is identified in the State Government’s Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan. South Australia Flinders Link project: Residents fight against Tonsley station closure On 13 May 2016, the Australian and South Australian Governments announced funding for the $85 million Flinders Link Project. This project will extend the existing Tonsley rail line 650 metres to the Flinders Medical Centre, creating new connections to the health precinct and Flinders University. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2019 (see July 2016 RD, page 18). The project includes: • A 650 metre extension of the Tonsley rail line linking the Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University to the rail network, including 520 metres of elevated single track over Sturt Road, Laffer’s Triangle and Main South Road • Removal of the existing Tonsley Station and construction of a new station adjacent to the Flinders Medical Centre; and • An integrated shared pedestrian/cycle path adjacent the rail line. However, some Tonsley and Mitchell Park commuters say they will be left isolated and disadvantaged when the Tonsley railway station is permanently closed as part of the Flinders Link project. Local residents have thrown their support behind a campaign to save the station with an online petition gaining almost 1150 signatures by the end of December 2017. Head petitioner Jodie Pearce said removal of the station discriminated against local residents, particularly a large number of elderly and disabled people in the surrounding area. “For many people the train is their only affordable access to independent travel – especially for wheelchair users and people with disabilities, short stature or frail health,” she said. “Flinders Link is essentially ‘unlinking’ the local community by withdrawing access to the train service”. On Sunday 10 December 2017, double-stacked intermodal service 6PM6 has crossed the Ghan and 6SP5 at Bookaloo and Hesso respectively, and now backlit orange dust dances in the train’s wake and metal surfaces gleam silver as NRs 53/101 glide through the curves at Yorkey’s Crossing. Once this train is safely inside the confines of Spencer Junction yard, 7MP5 will launch uphill as the sun sets. Malcolm Holdsworth 18 RAILWAY DIGEST

South Australia News Her concern is focused in particular at the southern part of Mitchell Park, served by Tonsley station. A bridge will need to be built over Sturt Road for the train line, which requires the track to be gradually elevated – beginning before the current location of Tonsley station. Mrs Pearce, who is a wheelchair user, said access to the Tonsley line was essential for residents to access employment, education, healthcare and local services. The closest station to Tonsley, Clovelly Park, is almost one kilometre away. The new station at Flinders University – replacing the existing Tonsley station – will be located uphill more than 500 metres to the south. Mrs Pearce said Clovelly Park station was not disability-compliant, unlike Tonsley. Marion Council is talking to the State Government about moving and upgrading the Clovelly Park and Mitchell Park stations so that they cater for the northern and southern ends of the Tonsley development site, where about 850 new homes will be built. A SA Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure spokesman said it was continuing to work with the community on the location of stations as part of the project. “We are aware of these concerns and are committed to continue working with the community,” he said. “The station will remain open throughout construction and is being considered as part of a broader review of stations on the Tonsley rail line”. The review, he said, would include ensuring stations complied with the Disability and Discrimination Act. Above: On Christmas Day 2017 Pacific National locomotives NR52, NR57 and 8226 lead 5PM5 through the Adelaide Hills approaching Mount Barker Junction. David Peters Right: On Monday, 8 January track work associated with the one-kilometre extension along North Terrace, from King William street to East Terrace and an extension along King William Road to the Adelaide Festival Plaza precinct advanced steadily after a one-week closure of the intersection of King William Street and North Terrace, Adelaide. All track panels were in place and concreting was advancing with about one-third complete. Some new poles for overhead were noticed. This view is looking westerly down North Terrace with the single-track curve to the left (south) into King William Street and the single-track curve from King William Road coming in from the right. The central square has been mass concreted, as is the track beyond. Track is yet to be laid across the intersection at Gawler Place/ North Terrace, a few hundred metres behind the photographer. Ian Hammond FEBRUARY 2018 19

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