After having a look at the soon to be former Birkenhead Loop (photospam thread of that and the new bridge set to replace it will be coming soon), I had to meet up some mates at Semaphore. From Glanville railway station, it is only about a 2km walk to the beach at Semaphore so that is what I did following the former railway alignment.
Because the former alingment is almost entirely covered with a median strip the width of the former alignment, it is really easy to follow it all the way to Semaphore. So what has happened over the past 30 years since the line was closed?
At the former junction at Glanville, the median strip begins almost as soon as the curve finished. From here to the former site of Exeter railway station, the median strip is littered with ballast in the sand. The third phot is about halfway between the junction and the site of Exeter railway station.
Around Woolnough Road is the former Exeter railway station. It is fitting that there should be a bus stop at this location. Around here is where the median strip is no longer towards one side of Semaphore Road and shifts towards the middle of the road. Quite a few of the buildings around here date from the period the railway was in use.
Military Road intersection.
The final section down Semaphore Road. As you can probably tell, this section has had nearly all physical traces (like the left over ballast) removed and covered over. Over the past 30 years, you would not think that there ever was a railway here for 100 years.
This train terminates here.
When I developed the Adelaide route for MSTS, I included 20 - 30 or more of the actual buildings down Semaphore Rd in the route - a couple of the churches, the Exeter Hotel, theatres, a number of houses, the War memorial and quite a few other business premises - buildings that were there in the 1950's and are still there and which I could photograph and then build. Of course, the Glanville and Exeter station buildings and lower quadrant signals are also all in place as at the 1950's.
Semaphore has not changed. It is a pity the line was removed from Semaphore Rd. but traders on the Northern side of Semaphore Rd claimed they were losing business because of the railway. Now they want the railway back, thats what I heard when Iwas living in Semaphore in 1998 and 1999. Semaphore is the best and safest beach in Australia.
Sounds like an ideal place for light rail, not a railway. Semaphore Beach looks a bit like some of the tram termini in Melbourne.
Great pics there 409. Good to see you are continuing to photospam us I especially like that 'Ghost Train' shot. Keep up the good work!!!
Just a small note for those who may not know, the 55 class railcars used in the 'ghost train' photo were the regular roster on the Semaphore 'yo-yo' (so called because it only shuttled from Glanville to Semaphore and back) and were used for many years until their retirment from service in 1968 after which they were replaced by a single 400 class redhen until the closure of the line in 1978. Railcar 8 also in that photo is also preserved at the NRM in Port Adelaide.
Out of interest, here are a couple of photos from the NRM archives of the Semaphore line back when trains were still on it.
You're quite right. jrobbo, that end of the street at Semaphore certainly does look like a tram terminus.
From the photographs, it certainly looks like a road that once had trams or trains, and could accommodate tram or light rail. And perhaps, one day, you will have it again.
My, my, how surprising it is to see pictures of different light poles in Adelaide. I thought they were all Stobie poles!
On Military Rd on the southern side of Semaphore Rd, the big white letters 'RX' are still painted on the road, albeit very faded.
Wouldn't it be good for a Karlsruhe/Zwickau type system.
Anyway great photos. Love the ghost train picture.
Well done and thanks, 409. I love the ghost train picture too.
As a matter of interest trams did run in Semaphore Road alongside and competing with the railway line!
I think so. If you run a train from Semaphore in the Adelaide and Hills MSTS route you will notice the train and tram lines besides each other.
Anyone who wants to see photos of these should try and find the Book 'Adelaide on the move', sadly it is now out of print, this has two photo's of the tramway at Semaphore in it. These trams incidentally were never connected to the main Adelaide tramway system, they ran on the Port Adelaide Tramway system, both were owned and operated by the MTT but were never physically connected together!
Semaphore Road has been substantially modified since the railway was removed mainly by making the northern and southern roadways roughly equal in width at the seaward end.
In railway days the northern roadway was much narrower, and hence the shop-keeper's problems with it.
The railway occupied the southern side of the northern roadway not the median strip at this end.
The southern roadway was the "through" road and was somewhat wider than it is now since it was two-way, rather than the one-way it is now. The Glanville end better gives you an idea of what it looked like, the railway ran down the median and southern side of the separated local roadway.
One other quirk with this piece of railway was the Semaphore railway platform it had a standard SAR platform face, but the actual platform surface was part of the road that KIPioneer described above! You would get out of a railcar and be standing on the verge of a road.
Certainly is memory lane 409
I can remember, in my early teen years, going to the matinee movie at the Semaphore Odeon. (Just east of Military road if memory serves me correctly- shown in pic #12)
Quite an adventure actually, Bus from Magill to the city, walk to the Railway station, train to Glanville, then change to the Semaphore Redhen.
I can remember wondering if the driver got tired of ringing the bell all the way from Semaphore station to Exeter station
The Semaphore railcar always sat in the middle road of Glanville station.
Was this the only station in the metro area where you had a platform accessable from each side of a railcar?
574MWe seem to be getting a large variety of street light poles now, as all new power lines have been installed underground for the last few years ...... one thing though .... we don't have any replanted "trees" for power poles like a few other cities
Anyone spot the "vintage" item in this pic?
Excellent work Will Thankyou
Yes, they do not make cars like that any more, anyone know what type it is!
I think that the tramway may have been broad gauge as opposed to standard gauge (at least in the horse tram days).
It is a 1921 Willis Whippet. You may have noticed the white piece of paper on the rear windshield. "FOR SALE, 1921 WILLIS WHIPPET. $21,000 ono". Not everyday you see an 87 year old car for sale on the side of the road. I checked the rego sticker on the windshield and it is still current (until June this year).
I do not think that Horse trams were ever used at Semaphore as this line was put in with the tramway which was all electric by then!
Duttonbay it could be very early 1950 or there abouts just before railcars were used as the 55 class railcars were only really used here when they were replaced on services elsewhere. Ron Stewien lived at Semaphore and a lot of his photos from back then show steam trains on the line! Just a thought!
I remember going to Semaphore in the 1950s by steam train - it would have had to be between 1956 and 1958.
I can't remember whether we changed trains at Glanville or ran straight through from Adelaide - probably ran right through.
The Port Adelaide Commercial Road station still had its overall roof then. It looked very ramshackle but somewhat more complete than it does today.
You can just make out the raised end of the track in this second pic from the same site.
The dark block to the right of the clock tower is the end of the track.
I don't think you had to change at Glanville for the Semaphore line until the sixties. I remember going right through to Semaphore, you had to change at Glanville for the Outer Harbour line. The Semaphore trains were either hauled by P,s or F,s.