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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

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Q. How long did the upgrade take?

A. Major construction works started on Sunday, 26 April 2009 and the Belair Line was re-opened on Sunday, 23 August 2009. 

Q. Was alternative public transport provided during the Belair line closure?

A. A substitute bus service replaced the train service during the line closure, operated as closely as possible in terms of service frequency and stopping locations, to allow the construction works to be undertaken safely and efficiently.  The service was used by approximately 1500 commuters each weekday (50% of train commuters). 

Q. Were stations upgraded as part of the project?

A. Complementing the Belair line track upgrade were improvements at some railway stations.

Blackwood Station upgrade includes:

  • a facelift which takes into consideration the heritage value of the buildings
  • restoration of the heritage building, which includes painting the exterior, refurbishing the roof and re-instating the windows including a protective screen
  • re-painting the pedestrian walkway overpass
  • installing a new shelter on the island platform, which will open sight lines and increase security at the station

The Blackwood Station also received a number of access improvements, particularly benefiting people with a disability and families with prams. These improvements included:

  • lighting upgrade across the whole site
  • improved access between the train and platform by reducing the height difference
  • security upgrade through installation of improved CCTV surveillance system
  • installation of tactile ground surface indicators
  • improved signage
  • improved access on the ramps adjacent to the platforms
  • fencing and mazeway improvements
  • upgraded seating and allocation of wheelchair accessible shelter spaces
  • hearing loop (voice announcement) upgrade
  • improvements to bus interchange area.

The Blackwood Park ‘n’ Ride will be expanded to accommodate an additional 40 cars. This includes minor road works to provide easier and safer access to the car park at Main Road, Blackwood.

Coromandel Valley station upgrade included:

  • lighting upgrade
  • installation of the tactile ground surface indicators
  • mazeway upgrade
  • improved signage
  • improved access on the ramp to enter and exit platform area
  • upgraded seating in shelters.

Eden Hills Station upgrade includes:

  • a new shelter
  • lighting upgrade
  • installation of the tactile ground surface indicators
  • mazeway upgrade
  • improved signage
  • fencing maintenance
  • improved access on the ramp to enter and exit platform area
  • upgraded seating in shelters.

Train passengers are advised some upgrade works are continuing at Blackwood, Coromandel and Eden Hills stations.  These works will not have any impact on passenger train services.

Q. Will passenger services be extended beyond Belair?

A. Extension of passenger rail services beyond Belair is not part of the Belair line renewal project.

Q. Why is the Belair line not being electrified?

A. Electrification of the Belair line requires further engineering and operational analysis. There are two tunnels and the interstate rail line is very close. In addition, the Federal Government completed a separate study into the future of that line.

Q. Why wasn’t the track standardised at the same time as the track upgrade?

A. A standardised track requires changes to the railcar maintenance facilities and conversion to standard gauge railcars. Standardisation therefore needs to be staged across the entire metropolitan rail network. The Belair line renewal used gauge convertible sleepers to allow for future conversion to standard gauge.

Q. Will Clapham, Millswood or Hawthorn stations be re-opened?

A. Millswood, Clapham and Hawthorn stations were closed several years ago and there are no plans to re-open them as part of the Rail Revitalisation project. 

Q. Is there additional car parking at stations?

A. The existing Park‘n’Ride facility at Blackwood Station has been expanded to provide an additional 40 car parking spaces.  

Q. Will passenger and freight trains share the same track?

A. There are currently no plans for freight and passenger trains to share the same track.   

Q. Was any work done in the tunnels?

A.  Full track upgrade works in the tunnels were not necessary as part of the recent upgrade.  Weather protection in the tunnels has resulted in much less deterioration by comparison with the rest of the line, and only minimal works were undertaken.

Q. Why have you only renewed the passenger line?

A.  The passenger line is owned by the State Government and the freight line is owned by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.  The Australian Government is currently undertaking a $3 million study into the future of the hills freight line, which is expected to be complete in 2011.  The outcome of this study may have an impact on the future operation of both hills rail lines.  As the renewal project will have no impact on the freight line, it will have no impact on the noise generated from the freight line. 

Q. Have train services on the Belair line improved?

A. The comfort, quality of ride and reliability of services has been improved with the renewal of the Belair line and many speed restrictions have been removed.  

Q. Why was the Belair line upgraded first?

A. The Belair line was upgraded first, as electrification of the other railway lines requires more detailed planning, surveying and design work before any construction can begin.  Works on the Noarlunga line commenced in late 2009, and works on the Gawler line are scheduled to begin in 2010.