Adelaide Rail Map
This map covers the metropolitan Adelaide region of the state of South Australia. Adelaide, with a population of around 1 million, prides itself on its artistic, culinary and sporting lifestyle. Adelaide has some unique characteristics amongst Australian cities including that it has a particularly high proportion of its population of German ancestry, and intriguingly is the only city in the nation where the locals speak with any hint of a regional accent.
Whilst Adelaide was originally a well-planned city, local authorities from the mid 20th Century until recently were beholden to the motor industry, and this dramatically marred the development of adequate rail transport. Adelaide has unarguably the worst metropolitan rail service in the nation, and is currently the only major city in Australia without electric train services. However - positive things are happening!
Suburban trains are operated by Adelaide Metro. All trains are operated by air-conditioned diesel railcars, and run over four main routes and two branch lines. The services operate regularly throughout the day, but are infrequent at night and on weekends. All trains operate to and from what was formerly Australia's grandest station - Adelaide Station which was modelled on New York's Grand Central terminal. Tragically, this once wonderful station is now but a shadow of its former self since having been converted into a casino, and the trains which once majestically arrived and departed at the sweeping concourse that was the front entrance to the city now slink in and out along an unpleasant covered-over set of tracks, almost as if the railway is something of which to be ashamed. Long-distance interstate trains have been banished from the terminal, and they now arrive and depart at a mightily unremarkable location ironically called "Adelaide Parklands Terminal" in the industrial suburb of Keswick.
Adelaide is now however investing once again in its railways, its busiest route to the South is being electrified and extended from Noarlunga to Seaford. Plans for electrification of further lines have been shelved, but will inevitably be re-activated following the opening of the rejuvenated Seaford line in late 2013.
There is a tantalising remnant of a wonderful electric street tramway system - the 'Bay Tram' runs between Adelaide City and the bayside suburb of Glenelg. Until 1958, an extensive network of electric tram routes served the city, and despite Adelaide's ideal geography and street geometry to support trams, the network was closed in that less enlightened era. Until 2006 this tram route was operated by wonderful and venerable but antique 1929 vintage American style interurban tramcars. In recent years however, the tram line has been extensively rebuilt, a new fleet of modern trams has been introduced, and the line extended from its long-time terminus in Victoria Square northward to Adelaide Railway Station, City West and further to Hindmarsh Entertainment Centre (Bowden). There are plans for further extensions to the North West and in future years significant reinstatement of lines to all corners of the suburbs where trams formerly ran until 1958.
Another unique and unfortunate chapter in Australia's transport history is the O-Bahn busway which runs to the North-Eastern suburbs. In the late 1970s the opportunity arose to re-invigorate the tramway by extending it through the city along the 'Modbury Corridor'. As has all to often been the case in Adelaide, a road-based solution was preferred by the government of the day, and the German designed O-bahn guided busway was constructed instead. This still operates even today, and is worth a ride whilst in Adelaide as you are unlikely to see too many of these around the world. A proposal to construct a second busway to the southern suburbs was thankfully cancelled as recently as early 2001.