Jul 31, 2013

Adelaide’s urban rail network set to go electric

The community has had a glimpse inside the first of Adelaide’s brand new electric trains, signalling the start of a new era for the City’s urban rail network and the commuters who rely on it.

Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese today joined South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis at the Seaford Rail Depot to see first-hand a fully assembled A-City Class 4000 railcar, the first of 22 scheduled to be delivered over the next 18 months.

“With the extension of the Noarlunga Line to Seaford now complete, the arrival of the new rolling stock marks another major milestone in the modernisation of Adelaide’s rail network,” said Mr Albanese.

“The Rudd Labor Government has a plan to keep our cities moving, one which involves investing in both their road and rail infrastructure. If not tackled in such a balanced way, the cost of congestion here in Adelaide will double to $1.1 billion a year by the end of the decade.

“That’s why we’ve not only initiated the two largest road projects in the State’s history – the Northern Expressway and South Road Superway – but also funded projects such as the Seaford Rail Extension and the untangling of passenger and freight lines through the CBD.

“Here in lies one of the great divides in Australian politics. If Tony Abbott was ever to become Prime Minister, Federal funding for rail projects likes these would become a thing of the past. He has repeatedly said that the national government should have nothing to do with fixing our nation’s public transport infrastructure.”

Mr Koutsantonis said over the next decade $252 million will be invested on the new fleet of electric trains, with the first of them expected to go into service early next year.

“Together, the Rudd and Weatherill Labor Governments are building a modern, greener and more reliable urban rail network,” said Mr Koutsantonis.

“Part of that vision is the newly built, jointly funded Seaford Rail Extension.  Completed on time, on budget, this project employed some 2,000 workers, erected on of Australia’s longest bridges and has brought better public transport services to the residents of the City’s fast growing southern suburbs.”