Tonsley railway line

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Tonsley railway line
Tonsley station.jpg
TypeCommuter rail
LocaleAdelaide, South Australia
Clovelly Park (temporary)
Flinders (under construction)
Operator(s)Adelaide Metro
Rolling stock
February 2012–13
ElectrifiedFebruary–September 2013
Line length13.0 km (8.1 mi)
Number of tracks
Track gauge1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Electrification25 kV AC overhead
Route map

0 km
Adelaide BSicon TRAM.svg Aiga bus trans.svg
Montefiore Road
City West
Adelaide Depot (closed 2011)
Port Road, Adelaide
Glover Avenue
Holdfast Bay line (closed 1929)
2.0 km
Mile End
Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Mile End Goods (closed 1994)
Adelaide Parklands Terminal BSicon LDER.svg
Keswick (closed 2013)
Anzac Highway
4.0 km
Adelaide Showground
Leader Street
5.0 km
Goodwood BSicon exLDER.svg
Victoria Street
East Avenue
6.3 km
Clarence Park
7.1 km
Cross Road (level crossing) Cross Road, Adelaide
South Road (overpass) South Road
7.9 km
De Laine Avenue
Angus Avenue
Raglan Avenue
9.1 km
Woodlands Park Aiga bus trans.svg
Dunorlan Road
Daws Road
Celtic Avenue
11.5 km
Mitchell Park
12.1 km
Clovelly Park
Alawoona Avenue
13.0 km
Tonsley (closed 2019)
Flinders extension
(under construction)
Sturt Road
Flinders Drive
Laffer Drive
South Road

The Tonsley railway line is a suburban commuter line in Adelaide, South Australia that stems off the Seaford line at Mitchell Park to end opposite Science Park and close to the Flinders University and the Flinders Medical Centre. The line is single track for most of its length, from Celtic Avenue near Mitchell Park station to its terminus. Services operate every 30 minutes on weekdays with no trains operating at night or on the weekend.


The Tonsley railway line was constructed as a branch line of the Seaford line between 1965 and 1966 to serve the new Chrysler plant at Clovelly Park. Construction of the plant had commenced in 1963, and the assembly line was opened in October 1964 (remaining operational until it was closed in March 2008).[1] Upon opening it serviced three stations - Mitchell Park, Clovelly Park, and Tonsley (closed 2019).

Re-sleepering and electrification[edit]

From 27 February 2012, the line between Woodlands Park and Tonsley was closed for construction.[2][3] 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.[4] The closure (initially planned as one year) was extended until September 2013, for electrification of the line along with the Noarlunga Centre line.[5] In late 2013, a plan was announced to convert the line to a double-track railway. 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 cut funding. Accordingly, the future of the line was unclear, with $18 million spent on the project.[6] It eventually reopened on 5 May 2014, more than two years after closure.[4]

Flinders extension[edit]

In July 2008, a feasibility study was commissioned by the government to extend the line to Flinders Medical Centre.[7] On the 13 May 2016, as part of the 2016 Liberal election campaign, a funding pledge of $43 million was announced for the plan.[8] The extension, referred to as the Flinders Link Project, would extend the line by 650 metres and replace the existing Tonsley station with a new terminus station adjacent to Flinders Medical Centre. An elevated single track with a pedestrian and bike path will begin just north of the existing Tonsley station site to cross Sturt Road, Laffer's Triangle and Main South Road, before terminating at Flinders station.[9] Tonsley station was closed after the final service on 28 June 2019, allowing construction of the rail overpass on the station site; services currently terminate at Clovelly Park station until the extension is complete.[10] Built concurrently with the adjacent Darlington Interchange for the North–South Motorway,[11][12] major works commenced in July 2019 with expected completion in 2020.[13][14]

Line guide[edit]

Tonsley Line
Name Distance from
Year opened Serving suburbs Connections
Adelaide 0.0 km 1856 Adelaide Train transfers to Belair, Gawler, Outer Harbor,
Grange & Seaford lines
Tram transfers
Bus transfers
Mile End 2.0 km 1898 Mile End
Adelaide Showground 4.0 km 2014 Keswick, Wayville
Goodwood 5.0 km 1883 Forestville, Goodwood Train transfers to Belair line
Clarence Park 6.3 km 1913 Black Forest, Clarence Park
Emerson 7.1 km 1928 Black Forest, Clarence Park
Edwardstown 7.9 km 1913 Edwardstown
Woodlands Park 9.1 km 1925 Ascot Park, Edwardstown Train transfers to Seaford line
Bus transfers
Mitchell Park 11.5 km 1966 Clovelly Park, Mitchell Park
Clovelly Park 12.1 km 1966 Michell Park, Tonsley
(under construction)
13.7 km 2020 Bedford Park

Former stations[edit]

  • Tonsley – opened 1966, closed 2019.


Services operate between 6.30 AM and 7.30 PM on weekdays only.[15] 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.[16] The line is fully operated by A-City electric multiple units.



  1. ^ "Mitsubishi could announce Adelaide closure today". Australian Car Advice. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
  2. ^ Two Adelaide rail lines facing disruption ABC News 3 February 2012
  3. ^ Travellers shunted from Tonsley and Grange train lines Adelaide Advertiser 3 February 2012
  4. ^ a b Rail revitalisation Tonsley line Archived 13 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure
  5. ^ Rail Network Closures 2013 Adelaide Metro
  6. ^ Marion Council lobbies for state and federal governments to put Tonsley rail upgrade ahead of politics Guardian Messenger 3 October 2013
  7. ^ Government looks at extending Noarlunga, Tonsley rail lines Adelaide Advertiser 3 July 2008
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Flinders Link Project". Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Tonsley station closing". Adelaide Metro. Government of South Australia. 6 June 2019. Archived from the original on 6 June 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Darlington Upgrade Project". Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Green light for $85.5m Flinders Link rail extension". Premier of South Australia. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  13. ^ Wills, Daniel (29 April 2019). "Tonsley rail line extension to Flinders to be complete next year, price tag blows out to $125m". The Advertiser. Adelaide. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  14. ^ Henson, Elizabeth (19 July 2019). "Construction work begins on $125m 'Flinders Link', a 650m extension of old Tonsley line". The Advertiser. Adelaide. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  15. ^ Seaford & Tonsley timetable Adelaide Metro 20 July 2014
  16. ^ "Limited life for 2000 class Jumbo railcars" Railway Digest January 2015 page 20

External links[edit]