More railway engineering projects could be on the horizon in South Australia following the state’s Seaford to Adelaide line commencing passenger services this week.
The $29.2 million extension project opened on Sunday (February 23) and is aimed at providing more transport options to SA’s southern suburbs.
Bryan Nye, chief executive of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), said the state government’s commitment to rail infrastructure investment and services is commendable. Premier Jay Weatherill has pledged $1.75 billion towards the state’s rail networks.
“A government’s investment in public transport is good use of public money and, if utilised, will not only see cities and their transport systems thrive but will also see people’s money going right back into their pocket,” Mr Nye stated.
“It is reassuring to see the Weatherill government take ownership of its public transport projects, in particular rail, even in these tough economic times.”
Research commissioned by the ARA recently showed that Adelaide commuters could save $3,200 a year by switching their cars for public transport.
The state government claims a greater demand on a number of services, including transport, will be created when an additional 9,000 residences are constructed in south Adelaide over the next 11 years.
The Seaford rail initiative involved a 5.7km extension to the dual track line from Noarlunga Centre Railway Station to Seaford’s district centre.
A 1.2km elevated rail bridge, new stations and park ‘n’ ride facilities were also added.
The ARA said the scheme will ensure more people favour public transport as their primary method of commuting.
Mr Nye claimed the average passenger train removes 525 vehicles from the road, offering environmental, social and economic benefits.
“Now it is more important than ever to recognise the importance of public transport investment to ensure our cities are productive, liveable and better connected into the future,” he stated.