Seaford railway line

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Seaford railway line
A-City EMU 4003 in 2014.jpg
A-City at Clarence Park station in February 2014
Locale Adelaide, South Australia
Termini Adelaide
  • Every 7-8 mins (peak)
  • Every 10-20 mins (weekday)
  • Every 30 mins (weekend)
  • Every 60 mins (night)
Rolling stock
Re-sleepered (concrete) 2009-2013
Electrified 2014
Line length 35.9 km (22.3 mi)
Number of tracks Quadruple track to Adelaide Showground
Triple track to Goodwood
Double track to Seaford
Track gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)

The Seaford railway line is a suburban commuter line in Adelaide, South Australia.


Map of the Willunga line

Before the extension of the line to Noarlunga Centre in 1978, the Willunga line ran from Hallett Cove station on a different route through Reynella, Morphett Vale and Hackham to Willunga (south-east of Noarlunga). It closed in 1969 and in September 1972 a track-removal train removed the tracks. For six years Noarlunga had no train service.

The South Australian Railways and its successor, the State Transport Authority, extended the railway southwards in stages from Hallett Cove to cater for increasing residential development in the southern area. Opening dates for passenger services were:

  • Hallett Cove Beach on 30 June 1974
  • Christie Downs on 25 January 1976. (This was a temporary terminus just north of Beach Road and adjacent to Hyacinth Crescent, and was in a different location to the current Christie Downs station, which opened in November 1981.)
  • Noarlunga Centre on 2 April 1978
  • Seaford on 23 February 2014


The line runs south from Adelaide station paralleling the Belair line as far as Goodwood. It then branches off in a south-west direction through the suburbs of Edwardstown, Oaklands Park and Marion to the coast at Brighton, where it turns south towards Noarlunga Centre in the southern suburbs. The line was known as the Marino and Hallett Cove line when it finished at Hallett Cove. Most trains terminated at Marino, with only about a quarter going to Hallett Cove.

Like the rest of the Adelaide network, the line is broad gauge. Dual gauge sleepers have been laid to allow for the line to be converted to standard gauge at a future date.[1] The line is 35.9 kilometres long and is the second longest of the Adelaide suburban railway lines. The line is double track throughout.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation standard-gauge main line passes over the line just south of Goodwood station. The Tonsley line branches off south of Woodlands Park.

Seaford extension[edit]

An artist's impression of the viaduct over the Onkaparinga River

The most recent expansion of the line was a 5.5 kilometre extension to the southern suburb of Seaford. This included a 1.2 kilometre elevated rail bridge over the Onkaparinga River, a rail bridge over Old Honeypot Drive, and railway stations at Seaford Meadows and Seaford. New road bridges were also constructed over the extension at Goldsmith Drive, Seaford Road and Lynton Terrace.[2][3][4][5][6] Construction started in 2011 with the extension opening on 23 February 2014.[7][8]

Funding for the extension[edit]

In 2005, the State Government announced the line would be extended. The plan was cancelled in December 2007 after a study concluded that the extension could not be justified. The government announced that it would retain the corridor to Aldinga for a possible extension further south in the future.[9]

In July 2008, a feasibility study was commissioned by the government into extending the line.[10] This extension was given approval after the Federal Government announced a $291 million investment in the project as part of the 2009/10 Federal Budget.[11]


3000 class railcar on the Seaford line before it was electrified

Trains to and from Adelaide operate every 10-20 minutes off-peak on weekdays, and every 30 minutes on weekends. In the late evening, trains run hourly. Previously, some stations are also serviced by trains from Brighton and from the Tonsley branch line on weekdays.[12]

Prior to 2014, most trains were operated by 3000 class railcars augmented at times by 2000 class railcars. Since the electrification of the line, the latter are no longer authorised to operate on the line.[13] Most services are now operated by A-City electric multiple units.

A number of railcars needed for peak-hour services are stabled overnight in secure sidings at Port Stanvac, north of Lonsdale station, and at a much bigger facility adjacent to Seaford Meadows. The last freight trains on the line, to and from Port Stanvac Refinery, ceased in the late 1990s.

Re-sleepering and electrification[edit]

In 2008, the State Government announced a plan to upgrade and electrify the Seaford line with the Federal Government also to provide funding.[14]

In December 2009, Stage 1 of the Noarlunga line upgrade was completed between Adelaide and Brighton.[15] This work saw the track removed, with the track bed and track renewed. Dual gauge sleepers were laid to allow for the line to be converted to standard gauge at a future date.

Stage 2 commenced in February 2011 with the line closed for six months and continued the upgrade works between Oaklands and Noarlunga.[16] Most stations received a minor upgrade due to the presence of asbestos in many station shelters, necessitating their replacement. These stations included Brighton, Seacliff, Marino, Marino Rocks and Lonsdale.

On 2 January 2013, the line closed to allow for its electrification and extension, with trains being replaced by bus services.[17] Rail services resumed on 1 December 2013.[18] The completed project was opened by the South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis on 18 January 2014.[19]

Electric train services commenced in February 2014 after testing was completed on the line.[7][8] At the time only four A-City electric multiple units had entered service, so most services continued to be operated by 3000 class railcars.


Seaford Line suburban service
 Gauge and interchange key 
Broad gauge
Standard gauge
Adelaide Metro commuter trains
Adelaide Metro trams
Adelaide Metro buses
GSR interstate trains
To Glenelg
Adelaide BSicon BAHN.svg BSicon TRAM.svg BSicon BUS.svg
Montefiore Road
City West
To Gawler, Grange and Port Adelaide
To Port Augusta (ARTC)
West Terrace1
Adelaide Depot
Port Road Port Road
To Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Glover Avenue
To Glenelg via Plympton
Mile End
Sir Donald Bradman Drive Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Mile End Goods(closed 1994)
Adelaide Parklands Terminal
Keswick(closed 2013)
Anzac Highway/Greenhill Road Anzac Highway/Greenhill Road
Adelaide Showground BSicon BAHN.svg BSicon BUS.svg
Leader Street
Goodwood BSicon BAHN.svg BSicon exLDER.svg
Glenelg Tram
Victoria Street
To Belair
To Bordertown and Melbourne
East Avenue
Clarence Park BSicon BUS.svg
Emerson BSicon BUS.svg
Cross Road (Level crossing)
South Road (Overpass)
Cross Road
South Road
De Laine Avenue
Angus Avenue
Raglan Avenue
Woodlands Park BSicon BAHN.svg BSicon BUS.svg
Sixth Avenue
To Tonsley
Ascot Park
Daws Road
Marion Road Marion Road
Sturt River
Old Oaklands(closed 2008)
Oaklands BSicon BUS.svg
Morphett Road
Hove BSicon BUS.svg
Brighton Road Brighton Road
Jetty Road
Brighton BSicon BUS.svg
Edwards Street
Shoreham Road
South Brighton(closed 1976)
Seacliff(To Adelaide only) BSicon BUS.svg
Wheatland Street
Seacliff(To Seaford only) BSicon BUS.svg
Maitland Terrace
Singleton Road
Marino BSicon BUS.svg
Marino Rocks
Hallett Cove
Jervois Terrace
To Willunga
The Cove Road
Hallett Cove Beach BSicon BUS.svg
Grand Central Avenue
Meyer Road
Christie Road
Lonsdale Railcar Depot
Lonsdale BSicon BUS.svg
Dyson Road Dyson Road
O'Sullivan Beach Road
Flaxmill Road
Christie Downs BSicon BUS.svg
Elizabeth Road
Old Christie Downs(closed 1978)
Beach Road
Hannah Road
Noarlunga Centre BSicon BUS.svg
Goldsmith Drive
Old Honeypot Road
Onkaparinga River
Seaford Meadows
Seaford Road
Lynton Terrace
Seaford BSicon BUS.svg

^1 West Terrace tram stop will become
Royal Adelaide Hospital when hospital is constructed


  1. ^ The gauge problems lives on 21 March 2012
  2. ^ Features & benefits Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure
  3. ^ Seaford rail extension moves forward as planning contracts awarded Anthony Albanese 12 August 2009
  4. ^ Work starts on Seaford rail extension Projectlink 4 September 2009
  5. ^ Seaford Rail Extension Project Adcor Constructions
  6. ^ Seaford Rail Extension Thiess
  7. ^ a b Rail revitalistaion Seaford rail extension Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure
  8. ^ a b Electrifying opening for the new Seaford line ABC Adelaide 23 February 2014
  9. ^ No rail service for Seaford ABC News 19 December 2007
  10. ^ Government looks at extending Noarlunga, Tonsley rail lines Adelaide Advertiser 3 July 2008
  11. ^ 2009-10 Budget Federal Government May 2009
  12. ^ Seaford & Tonsley timetable Adelaide Metro 20 July 2014
  13. ^ "Limited life for 2000 class Jumbo railcars" Railway Digest January 2015 page 20
  14. ^ 2008/09 State Budget South Australian Department of Treasury & Finance June 2008
  15. ^ Noarlunga Rail Revitalisation Schedule Department of Transport, Energy & Infrastructure
  16. ^ Schedule Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure
  17. ^ Noarlunga & Tonsley lines closed Adelaide Metro
  18. ^ "Rail services resume on Noarlunga line" Railway Digest January 2014 page 23
  19. ^ Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis turns on new electric Noarlunga train lines Adelaide Advertiser 18 January 2014