It raises the question (yet again) of what rolling stock will be suited to resume operation while the wires are being installed and the 4000's tested. Presumably only 3000 class because of the previously-discussed clearance issues with the cab on Jumbos.
Another question about resuming operations is how long each day the diesel trains will be able to run whilst completing installation of electrification?
The contractors still have a massive amount of installation work to do, even south of Oaklands where they have had abolute possession of the whole line for five months (no trains, no track relaying underway, relatively "easy" stretch of double track). There is still 3 to 4 months before trains re-start (depending whether "September" means beginning or end of the month), but a lot of complex wiring and other complex work (earthing structures, signalling mods etc) is still needed. This includes installation of all support masts between Edwardstown and Nairne Junction & Laing O'Rouke will need many, many hours of track access time to complete this which they cannot do with trains running.
And I wonder how easy it will be to electrify the Adelaide - Goodwood section when Belair trains resume? I know it's a 4 track section for part of the way, but tricky with regular Belair trains running, Health & Safety being what it is.
My predictions are either:-
1) Diesel trains return to Noarlunga from September, running only in Monday - Friday peak hours, with no Tonsley trains. Electification work continues in non-peak hours, including nights and all weekends, with substitute buses continuing outside M-F peak times well into 2014.
2) End of August, State and Federal governments announce new Oaklands flyover will go ahead as a priority. But sorry guys, we'll need to keep the line closed for another 9 months while we build it. Buses continue into city during the whole period this is done. Seaford - Brighton electric service starts in March 2014 (just before State election) with bus connections Brighton to City, until June/July 2014 when full electric service starts.
I think the weakest link in sparking to Seaford is the slow progress with electrification infrastructure. Not delivery of EMUs, track renewal or underpass at Goodwood, which all seem to be progressing as expected.
I'm sure DPTI has their contingencies worked out. I wonder what they are?