Tonsley railway line

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Tonsley railway line
Tonsley station.jpg
Locale Adelaide, South Australia
Termini Adelaide
Stations Goodwood
  • 30 mins (peak)
  • 30 mins (weekday)
  • No service (weekend)
  • No service (night)
Opened 1 July 1966
Rolling stock
Re-sleepered (concrete) 2013/14
Electrified 2014
Line length 13.0 km (8.1 mi)
Number of tracks Quadruple track to Adelaide Showground
Triple track to Goodwood
Double track to Mitchell Park
Single track to Tonsley
Track gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Route map
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 Seaford
Daws Road
Celtic Avenue
Mitchell Park BSicon BUS.svg
Clovelly Park BSicon BUS.svg
Alawoona Avenue
Tonsley BSicon BUS.svg
 Gauge and interchange key 
Broad gauge
Standard gauge
Adelaide Metro commuter trains
Adelaide Metro trams
Adelaide Metro buses
GSR interstate trains

The Tonsley railway line is a suburban commuter line in Adelaide, South Australia that stems off the Seaford line to end in Mitchell Park opposite Science Park and close to the Flinders University and the Flinders Medical Centre. There have been many proposals to extend the line so that it ends closer to the Flinders Campus, but nothing has eventuated. The line was constructed in 1965/66 to serve the former Chrysler/Mitsubishi plant at Clovelly Park, which closed in March 2008.[1]

The Tonsley railway line was closed between Woodlands Park and Tonsley from February 2012 to May 2014. During this time the line was duplicated between Tonsley Junction and Mitchell Park station, the track re-sleepered with dual gauge sleepers to allow for the line to be converted to standard gauge at a future date, and the entire line electrified.[2]

The line is single track for most of its length, from Celtic Avenue near Mitchell Park station to the terminus at Tonsley, with two intermediate stations. Services operate every 30 minutes on weekdays with no trains operating at night or on the weekend.


Services operate between 06.30 and 19.30 on weekdays only.[3] Services were only extended to operate during weekday off-peak periods in 2004. Stations between Adelaide and Woodlands Park are also serviced by the Seaford line, and stations between Adelaide and Goodwood are also serviced by the Belair line.

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.[4] Once the full fleet is delivered, services will be operated by A-City electric multiple units.

Flinders Link Extension[edit]

In July 2008, a feasibility study was commissioned by the government to extend the line to the Flinders Medical Centre.[5]

The extension, referred to as Flinders Link, would extend the line by 650 metres to the Flinders Medical Centre and the Flinders University area. It would consist of:[6]

  • 520 metres of elevated single track over Sturt Road, Laffer’s Triangle and Main South Road
  • A new station adjacent to the Flinders Medical Centre
  • An integrated shared pedestrian/cycle path adjacent the rail line

On the 13 May 2016, as part of the 2016 Liberal election campaign, a funding pledge of $43 million was announced for the Flinders Link extension.[7]

2012–2014 line closure and electrification[edit]

From 27 February 2012, the line was closed for a year.[8][9]

The closure was extended until September, 2013, for electrification of the line along with the Noarlunga Centre line.[10] In late 2013, a plan was announced to duplicate the route. This was to be funded through joint State and Federal initiatives, but the incoming Federal government announced it would be changing their focus to roads, and pulled the funding. Accordingly, the future of the line was unclear, with $18 million spent on the project.[11] It eventually reopened on 5 May 2014, more than two years after closure.[2]



  1. ^ "Mitsubishi could announce Adelaide closure today". Australian Car Advice. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  2. ^ a b Rail revitalisation Tonsley line Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure
  3. ^ Seaford & Tonsley timetable Adelaide Metro 20 July 2014
  4. ^ "Limited life for 2000 class Jumbo railcars" Railway Digest January 2015 page 20
  5. ^ Government looks at extending Noarlunga, Tonsley rail lines Adelaide Advertiser 3 July 2008
  6. ^ "Darlington Upgrade Project". Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  7. ^ Yaxley, Louise (13 May 2016). "Coalition's $43m Adelaide rail funding pledge aimed at shoring up marginal seat, Anthony Albanese says". News. ABC. ABC. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Two Adelaide rail lines facing disruption ABC News 3 February 2012
  9. ^ Travellers shunted from Tonsley and Grange train lines Adelaide Advertiser 3 February 2012
  10. ^ Rail Network Closures 2013 Adelaide Metro
  11. ^ Marion Council lobbies for state and federal governments to put Tonsley rail upgrade ahead of politics Guardian Messenger 3 October 2013