Gunzelling in SA - Where to go, what to see and what to do

  409 Minister for Railways

I have been thinking about this for a while but the recent flood of enquiries over the past year or so has compelled me to start this thread about gunzelling in SA for all of our interstate visitors to see rather then start a new topic every time. To all potential interstate visitors, I hope this is of use to you all.


There are a number of interesting spots to gunzel freight trains in SA both in and around Adelaide or further out for those who are feeling adventerous enough to shoot out into the bush.

Metropolitan Adelaide offers a number of easy to get to locations to watch trains which can be access by public transport.

South of Adelaide, interstate freight services have to do battle with the Adelaide Hills between Adelaide and Tailem Bend up gradients of upto 1 in 45 requiring additional train bankers added onto the normal consist at either Adelaide or Tailem Bend depending on which way the train is going. Following the mainline, trains run along the '90 mile desert' towards the Victorian border. From Tailem Bend, there are a couple of mallee branch lines to Loxton and Pinaroo, these being the last survivors of the former Murraylands Division of the SAR. All lines are standard gauge.

To the north of Adelaide, trains may not have as many locomotives but the trains themselves are longer, heavier, faster and higher then they are through the Adelaide Hills with double stack trains running at speeds upto 115km/h. Also north of Adelaide runs the sole broad gauge freight train in the state, the 'stonie' between Penrice in the Barossa Valley and Osbourne near Port Adelaide run almost entirely on Alco motive power. Further north between Crystal Brook and Tarcoola, the line funnels ALL transcontinental freight and passenger traffic with both the east - west and north - south lines sharing the one section in addition to a number of other services. SA only has one coal train from Leigh Creek to Port Augusta but it dwarfes everything else in the country with a train length of around 160 - 168 100t hoppers.

Should you be prepared for the long drive, you will be rewarded on the 'west coast' of SA with two isolated narrow gauge systems running out from Whyalla and Port Lincoln. A wide variety of motive power sourced from as far away as Western Australia and Victoria can be found on these two isolated systems which haul wheat, iron ore and gypsum. The track condition on the vast majority Port Lincoln system makes train chasing a fairly easy exercise with train speeds limited to 20 - 50km/h.

Train information and formation - Metropolitan Adelaide:
Metropolitan Adelaide offers a number of locations where you can gunzel a wide variety of services without having to go too far. The Adelaide Freight Terminal (or AFT) at Islington is the nerve centre of nearly interstate freight operations in SA. All Pacific National and Freightlink services currently arrive and depart from here while at the present time, SCT also has a small yard on the northern side of the AFT although SCT will be moving to a new, larger premises north of Adelaide in the near future. All QRNational services use either Port Adelaide Flat Yard or Dry Creek North Yard. To add to the general activity of the area, Islington Workshops is on the other side of the surban Gawler Central line with a treasure trove of old locomotives and rollingstock.

Several trip services are run by both QRNational and Pacific Nation run trip service between either the AFT and Dry Creek North Yard to either Port Adelaide Flat Yard or Outer Harbour. Most of these are intermodal although oil tanks run from Adelaide to Alice Springs are shunted around There is also one Pacific National steel trip working from the AFT to the Lysaught's Steel siding at Wingfield.

Moving away from the AFT, the main north and main south lines already feel different even before you leave the metropolitan area with huge 1800m long double stack trains running north and shorter trains with bigger motive power lash ups running south. Because the northern line is completely isolated from the suburban system, all services can gallop along at line speed without interfering with suburban workings.

The Port Adelaide area also has a lot to offer with Port Adelaide Flat yard, Port Adelaide grain silo and the new Outer Harbour grain silo all within a few kms of eachother set in a typically industrial area. The highlight of this area is thedual gauge opening rail bridge over the Port River.

Finally, what suburban visit would not be complete with a visit to Dry Creek Motive Power Centre? This is a dual gauge depot with a wide variety of motive power from all operators to be seen. You are generally able to take photographs infront of the depot area which is ideally laid out for gunzels with an access road wrapping around the northern depot fan.

Locomotive classes to be seen:
Adelaide Freight Terminal:
SCT shunting - T 345, H2 and H3
SCT mainline - SCT and occasional G classes.

Pacific National shunting - 8118 and 8046
Pacific National mainline -  NR, DL, AN, BL and XRB classes.

Freightlink shunting - Performed by Pacific National locomotives.
Freightlink mainline - FQ, VL, SCT, CLF, CLP, ALF and GM classes.

Port Adelaide Flat Yard and Port River Bridge:
Pacific National shunting - Performed by mainline motive power.
Pacific National mainline - NR, XRB, BL, DL and AN classes.

QRNational shunting - 2819, TL 152 and 153
QRNational mainline - EL, VL, RL and G classes. 2819 also assists with banking duties.

GWA shunting - 22 and 700 classes
GWA mainline - CLF, CLP, GM, ALF, 22, 500, 700 and 830 classes.

PatrickPortlink shunting - Performed by mainline power.
PatrickPortlink mainline - 18 and 45 classes. Any other lease locomotive under the sun can (and has!) also be used.

Dry Creek MPC:
Everything listed above.

Time frames and timetables:
ARTC timetable:

Locations and how to get there:

Dry Creek station and Henscke Road:
Dry Creek station can be accessed very easily by taking a TransAdelaide Gawler Central line train leaving Adelaide Railway Station at either 10 past the hour and 40 past the hour on weekdays and departing at 23 past the hour and 50 past the hour on weekends. Henscke Road is a short road off of Cormack Road. If you are going along Cormack Road from the west, take the very last left hand turn before the railway level crossing and then taken a right hand turn and drive to the end.

Mawson Lakes station:
Take any train leaving Adelaide Railway station. To the north of the station, there are a couple of lineside embankments which make a great grand stand. Go upto the road overpass from the station and cross the road. Get off the overpass and you will be on the lineside embankment.

Kilburn station and 'Mt Islington':
Take any Gawler Central line train leaving Adelaide at either 10 past the hour and 40 past the hour on weekdays. Mt Islington is right behind the station with a footpath leading from the platforms to the top of the hill which overlooks the entire AFT as well as the northern end of Islington Workshops.

Belair station:
Take any Belair train to Belair station.

Fosters Corner:
Take the train to Belair station and then walk along Sheoak Road alongside Belair passing loop. Once you have walked [pass the passing loop, you will see a path on the right hand side of the road leading to a spring loaded gate which has a path going into Belair National Park. Go along the path until you are at the top of the railway cutting and you will find yourself at Foster's Corner.

Mt Lofty station:
Mt Lofty station hasn't been apart of the suburban railway network since 1987 so there is no other option but to either drive or take the 864M bus to Stirling and more specifically, stop 36 on the main street. Once you are on the main street of Stirling, walk towards a small playground on the opposite side of the main street and follow Avenue Road going up hill passed the playground. There is a sign pointing the way to Mt Lofty railway station. Follow the road to the other side of the hill towards a small bridge and you will find Mt Lofty railway station on the right hand side of the road.

Train information and formation - South of Adelaide:
South of Adelaide, trains are run by a mixture of Pacific National, Specialised Container Transport, QRNational, El Zorro and Genessee and Wyoming Australia. Because of the steep gradients up and over the Mt Lofty Ranges/Adelaide Hills, banking engines are added to virtually all trains with combinations ranging between 2 and 5 locos being normal although GWA trains with upto 9 locomotives have been seen from time to time. The vast majority of trains over the hills are interstate intermodal services although GWA and El Zorro do regularly run grain trains over the hills with Pacific National also running a few grain services as required. GWA also haul a mineral sands train from Outer Harbour to Mindarie twice a week with a third service forcast to run in the short term future.

Locomotive classes to be seen:
Tailem Bend:
Pacific National banking - DL, BL, AN and GL classes.
Pacific National mainline - NR and AN classes.

QRNational banking - 2819 or GWA motive power.
QRNational mainline - EL, VL, G or RL classes.

EL Zorro banking - All mainline power.
EL Zorro mainline - G, EL, VL, GM and C classes.

GWA mainline - GM, 22, 700, CLF, CLP and ALF classes.

GWA mainline GM, 22, 700, CLF, CLP and ALF classes.

Time frames and timetables:
ARTC timetable:
Adelaide - Melbourne
Melbourne - Adelaide

Unlisted trains:
All grain services are run as required.

Mindarie Mineral Sands/Mindarie Flyer:
Dep Outer Harbor: Monday and Wednesday - 16:00
Arr Mindarie - whenever

Dep Mindarie: Tuesday and Thursday - 04:00
Arr Outer Harbour: 08:30

Locations and how to get there:

Train information and formation - North of Adelaide:
North of Adelaide, the variety of trains increases with a number of mainline operators using the main northern line. As mentioned ealier, the line between Crystal Brook and Tarcoola acts as a funnel with all coast to coast (east-west and north-south) rail traffic using this section. Between Crystal Brook and Coonamia is the only section of mainline double track in SA which runs for 23 kilometres or so. Even on single track sections, train speeds are high with line speed approaching a maximum of 115km/h. The sight of a double stack train doing that sort of speed is well worth beholding even though you will be pushing the 110km/h SA road speed limit a bit! Another monster of a train is the legendary Leigh Creek coal train which rivals anything run by Queensland Rail for length and tonnage. The average train length is 168 wagons each weighing around 100t when fully loaded. Because of the fairly flat nature of the line, only three locomotives are needed but all are run from the front of the train rather then mid train banker units as seen else where. A flat wagon with an air compressor is also attached at the rear of the train.

Not all northern traffic is on a high speed mainline or standard gauge for that matter. Just out of Adelaide through the beautiful Barossa Valley winds the broad gauge 'stonie', a long time favourite with railfans and runs once a day. Motive power on this train is almost entirely Alco worked with an occasional English Electric 500 class tagging along between Dry Creek and Osbourne.

Locomotive classes to be seen:
GWA shunting - Performed by mainline motive power.
GWA mainline - 700 and 830 classes.

Port Augusta:
All above listed Pacific National, QRNational and mainline SCT motive power plus PN 82 and V classes.

GWA shunting - Performed by mainline motive power.
GWA mainline - 13, 19, CK and 830 classes.

Port Lincoln:
GWA shunting - Performed by mainline motive power.
GWA mainline - 12, 16, 830 and 900 classes.

Time frames and timetables:
ARTC timetable:
Whyalla - Adelaide
Adelaide - Whyalla
Port Augusta - Kalgoorlie
Kalgoorlie - Port Augusta
Crystal Brook - Broken Hill
Broken Hill - Crystal Brook

Unlisted trains:
All grain services are run as required.


Dep Dry Creek - 05:30
Arr Penrice - 07:30

Dep Penrice - 10:40
Arr Osbourne - 13:00

Dep Osbourne - 16:00
Arr Dry Creek - 16:40


Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Dep Bowmans - 05:00
Arr Pelican Point - 07:00

Dep Pelican Point - 10:30
Arr Bowmans - 12:30

Dep Bowmans - 16:00
Arr Pelican Point - 18:00

Dep Pelican Point - 21:30
Arr Bowmans - 23:30

Tuesday and Thursday
Dep Bowmans - 05:00
Arr Port Pirie - 08:30 (to be confirmed)

Dep Port Pirie - 11:00
Arr Bowmans - 14:30 (to be confirmed)

Dep Bowmans - 16:00
Arr Pelican Point - 18:00

Dep Pelican Point - 21:30
Arr Bowmans - 23:30

Dep Bowmans - 05:00
Arr Pelican Point - 07:00

Dep Pelican Point - 10:30
Arr Bowmans - 12:30

Leigh Creek coal train: (summer timetable)

Dep Port Augusta: 08:00/18:00
Arr Leigh Creek: /  :  

Dep Leigh Creek: /  :00
Arr Port Augusta: 23:00/08:00

Putappa ore train:

Dep Port Pirie: Saturday -
Arr Port Augusta: Saturday -
Dep Port Augusta: Sunday - 01:00
Arr Putappa: Sunday -

Dep Putappa: Sunday -
Arr Port Augusta: Sunday -
Dep Port Augusta: Monday -
Arr Port Pirie: Monday -

Locations and how to get there:

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  409 Minister for Railways

If anyone is able to fill in any gaps in the above list, please let me know and I will include them.
  85trainfan Train Controller

Location: If only I Knew, that would make 2 of us :)
Cormack Road from the west, take the very last left hand turn before the railway level crossing and then taken a right hand turn and drive to the end.

Take the 2nd right, the first is a dead end Laughing
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Great Idea 409

Don't forget GSR's operations, with PL1 as shunter
  409 Minister for Railways

I'll hopefully cover everything to do with railways and tramways in SA here so that will certainly be included. I am currently 'studying' at TAFE at the present minute so work has been halted for the while.
  409 Minister for Railways


South Australia is the only mainland state without a rural passenger service run like V/line for example. Unless you have a car, your public transport options into the rural areas of the state are limited to either a bus or via GSR on the Indian Pacific, Ghan or Overland which stop on request at several rural centres in South Australia. Because all GSR services are run on the mainline (obviously), a large number of other towns have to be reached by bus as already mentioned, Premier Stateliner run the vast majority of the rural bus services in SA.

Great Southern Railways
Premier Stateliner

Train information and formation - Metropolitan Adelaide:
The national head quarters for Great Southern Railways are located at Adelaide Parklands Terminal (formerly Keswick Terminal) 2kms out from the Adelaide CBD. Access to the terminal can be made either via several bus routes along ANZAC Highway at the northern end of the terminal, TransAdelaide Belair and Noarlunga Centre services stopping at Keswick suburban station or by taxi from the CBD. Adelaide Parklands Terminal also carries out all GSR rolling stock maintenance with the exception of major refurbishments which is externally contracted. A small but very capable workshops is located here as well as a train wash which can accomodate an entire rake from either the Ghan or Indian Pacific. To work the APT, Pacific National locomotive PL 1 (the only one of the class in SA) is on long term lease by GSR to shunt around the terminal as well as through the train wash. In addition to the normal GSR rollingstock, two former Commonwealth Railways timber coaches dating from 1917 and 1920 are also available for private charter. Other facilities here include a motorail loading and unloading ramp as well as carriage stabling sidings to the east of the site.

While it is possible to take photographs on the platform without any major hassles, a better option is to use the access road ramp leading from ANZAC Highway which provides a nice overhead shot of the entire complex. This is also handy since the ARTC Adelaide - Melbourne line runs to one side of the terminal as well as the ARTC storage sidings being located here as well as ARTC's national head quarters.

Locomotive classes to be seen:
Adelaide Passenger Terminal
Pacific National shunting: PL 1
Pacific National mainline: NR, DL and AN classes.

Locations and how to get there:
Adelaide Passenger Terminal and Keswick:
The nerve centre of all GSR operations nation wide can be accessed by a number of bus routes from the city, Noarlunga Centre and Belair train services stopping at Keswick station or taxi from the Adelaide CBD.

Train information and formation - South of Adelaide:
Ever since 1887, the Overland has run south of Adelaide to Melbourne via the tortuous main south line over the Adelaide Hills. At the present time, the Overland is made up of ex SAR corton steel coaches that have been refurbished several times over the past 5 decades or so with some of the BJ class coaches having been in service since 1952. The current train make up includes between 4 to 5 BJ class coaches, one RBJ buffet coach and either one PCO van originally built for the Overland or one PHN van originally built for the Southern Aurora. All coaches other then the baggage vans are painted in a deep blue livery with the baggage vans being painted all over silver or stainless steel.

Locomotive classes to be seen:
Adelaide to Melbourne:
Pacific National mainline - NR class.

Time frames and timetables:
The Overland

Train information and formation - North of Adelaide:
North of Adelaide, GSR's two flag ship trains, the Ghan and Indian Pacific share the same route from Adelaide to Crystal Brook where one leg of the Indian Pacific seperates from the Ghan and the other leg of the Indian Pacific. The Ghan and Indian Pacific part ways completely at Tarcoola. Train lengths on both trains are considerably longer then on the Overland and during the peak tourist season, 2 or sometimes even three carriage sets are formed together to make up an extra length Ghan or Indian Pacific consist with upto 44 coaches sighted from time to time on the Ghan. The two ex CR timber coaches can also be seen on either service and certainly stand out from the rest of the train. Coaches on both trains are formed by Comeng stainless steel stock orginally delivered to the CR between 1968 and 1970 for use on the Indian Pacific and since 1980, on the standard gauge Ghan.

Locomotive classes to be seen:
Adelaide to Perth, Sydney and Darwin:
Pacific National mainline - NR, AN and DL classes.

Time frames and timetables:
Indian Pacific
The Ghan
  409 Minister for Railways


The only Government run passenger services can be found on the Adelaide metropolitan system operated by TransAdelaide although all of the rollingstock and infrastructure is officially on permanent lease from the Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. The system comprises of 6 lines, 4 mainlines to Gawler Central, Outer Harbour, Noarlunga Centre and Belair and 2 branch lines to Tonsley and Grange. The total system has around 200kms of route mileage formed of double track on all mainlines except the Gawler to Gawler Central section, both of the branch lines, the Midlunga - Outer Harbor section of the Outer Harbor line and the Belair line after Keswick except at the various passing loops. The system is run using 99 diesel railcars of two very different types, the 2000/2100 class diesel hydraulics and trailer cars of which there are 29 total in service as well as the 3000/3100 classes AC diesel electric railcars which form the rest of the fleet.

Transadelaide also run the largest tram system outside of Melbourne with a total of 16 trams running over 12kms of track from City West in the Adelaide CBD (North Terrace) to Glenelg. The whole line is double track with the exception of 100m of single track running at City West and is entirely laid on concrete sleepers for the 9.1km reserve running section to Glenelg. Two types of tram are currently in use, 11 'Flexity Classic' trams (either classified I or 100 class depending on who you talk to!) and 5 H class trams that have been on the roster since 1929.

TransAdelaide - Operator
AdelaideMetro - Timetable and ticket information

Train/Tram information and formation - Metropolitan Adelaide:
All TransAdelaide services (either train or tram) originate from or service Adelaide Railway Station which is located on North Terrace in the Adelaide CBD. Because the station has only 9 platforms (originally 13 but reduced to 9 in 1986), a lot of trains in peak hour double up on platforms so you will have to look at the information panels hanging from the roof to see what train is yours. Unlike other cities, Adelaide doesn't have any form of city loop and is a dead end station.

Train lengths can vary wildly with anything between 1 and 4 railcars being seen in service depending on what time of day it is and what line you are on. For example, Tonsley trains rarely require anything more then 2 cars in peak and usually operate with only 1 railcar while the Gawler Central line regularly run 4 car trains. Until the 1990s, trains of upto 6 railcars long were run on the Noarlunga Centre line in peak hour but changes to the timetable have resulted in this formation being discontinued. Train formations are rarely fixed for anything more then 8 months. It is quite often that you will see a half a 3100 set running with either a single 3000 or another single 3100 class railcar with the other half being repaired or serviced. 2000/2100 railcar sets also change around frequently, especially the 4 car sets which are formed of two two car sets and are often split, mainly for maintenance reasons again. In regards to livery, it isn't uncommon to find mixed livery sets of 2000/2100 class railcars running in both the old orange and white of the former STA or the current blue, red and yellow of AdelaideMetro.

As for trams, things are simpler with all Flexity trams running as one unit except in emergency's were two will be coupled together. H class are often kept in a fixed formation of 2 cars couple together forming two operational sets. Currently, they are formed by 351-370 and 367-380 with 374 in storage at Glengowrie depot. On rare occasions, an H class has also towed a dead Flexity using a monstrously sized transition coupler.

Locomotive classes to be seen:
Adelaide Railway Station
TransAdelaide shunting: none
TransAdelaide mainline: 2000, 2100, 3000 and 3100 classes.
TransAdelaide tram: I/100 class 'Flexity' and H class.

Locations and how to get there:
Adelaide Railway Station:
The centre of all TransAdelaide operations is a massive sandstone building built in the style of Grand Central terminal and was opened in 1928 under SAR commissioner William Alfred Webb who saw a complete revamp of the South Australian railway station. The construction of this station also sent the Government of the day to near bankruptcy! The station is located on North Terrace next to Parliament House and is also served with a tram stop as well as a several bus stops. Luggage lockers, ticket offices and a whole host of timetable information is available as well as a number of shops.

Adelaide Railcar Depot:
Adelaide Railcar Depot is currently the largest depot and workshops on the TransAdelaide system and has storage capacity for around 50 railcars. All heavy maintenance upto full overhaul and some interior refurbishment is carried out here with some of the work being carried out at Islington Workshops on the Gawler Central line. The Dry Creek wheel lathe also sees regular visits from TransAdelaide railcars. The present future of the depot is however in doubt with the land it is on presently set to be used for the new Marjorie Jackson-Nelson Hospital. The current plan is to set up a new railcar depot at Dry Creek with the railcar fueling points at Gawler and Lonsdale set for expansion. The depot is further west along North Terrace as well as along part of Port Road.

Glengowrie Tram Depot:
Since it was built in 1986 to replace City Depot, Glengowrie tram depot has been the nerve centre of the Adelaide tram fleet. In 2005, the depot was heavily modified to accept the Flexity fleet which have a lot of their operational components mounted on the roof unlike the H class which have everything mounted under the floor. The depot undertakes all repairs right upto full rebuilds of the H class and also is where AOA liveries are applied to the Flexity's. The depot is located on the corner of Maxwell Terrace and Morphett Road and can also be accessed from tram stop 12 'Morphett Road' which is right across Maxwell Terrace from the depot. The stop also is set in the middle of the depot triangle to the mainline with tracks at each end of the platform and is also right next to Sturt Creek which is crossed on an open deck bridge.

Other stations worth visiting include:
Outer Harbor, Port Adelaide, Belair, Mitcham, Blackwood, Gawler Central, Gawler, Dry Creek, Kilburn, Islington, Noarlunga Centre, Brighton and Oaklands.

Train information and formation - South of Adelaide:
South of Adelaide Railway Station, the different lines all have different formations to suit the demands placed on them. For most of the day, the Tonsley line relies on a single 3000 class railcar to provide it's once hourly service on weekdays and no railcar at all on weekends. During peak hour, 2 3000 class or a single 3100 class set are deployed.

The Belair line runs between 1 and upto 3 railcars in a service although 3 is the maximum allowed because of the length of the passing loops on this mainly single tracked line. Generally speaking though, 2 3000 class or a 3100 set is used during weekdays with an occasional 3 car train generally formed with 3 3000 class being used. On weekends, either a single 3000 class or a coupled pair will be used on the once hourly service.

The Noarlunga Centre line (being the busiest on the system) has the greatest variety of railcar formations. With the exception of Tonsley services branching off at Woodlands Park, trains are no shorter then 2 cars in length and are formed with either 3000/3100 classes as well as the 2000 series which are generally three car sets with one four car set also run.

Railcar classes to be seen:
Tonsley line:
Single 3000 series railcar mainly, 2 cars in peak.

Belair line:
Between 1 and 2 3000 series railcars both off peak and on weekends, between 2 and 3 in peak.

Noarlunga Centre line line:
Between 2 and 3 3000 series railcars off peak and weekends, between 2 and 4 2000 and 3000 series railcars in peak.

Time frames and timetables:
All timetables are in pdf format. It should be noted that there are no Tonsley line train services on weekends.

Noarlunga Centre/Tonsley line line

Belair line

Train information and formation - North of Adelaide:
Train formations north of Adelaide are similar to those running south. Like the Tonsley line, 1 to 2 3000 series railcars are used on the Grange line off peak and on weekends while 2 3000 series railcars are generally used on peak, sometimes three are used should conditions dictate.

The Outer Harbor line is similar to the Belair line with 1 to 2 3000 series railcars used off peak and on weekends being used while 2 to 3 3000 series railcars being used in peak although 3 car sets are somewhat rare. In previous years, 2000 series railcars were used on both the Outer Harbor and Grange lines but they have been banned from operation along those lines since 2007.

The Gawler Central line is the busiest line north of Adelaide as well as the longest on the system at 42kms long. The line also has the widest variety of railcar operations with between 1 and 2 3000 series railcars used off peak and on weekends with between 2 and 4 2000 and 3000 series railcars used in peak.

Railcar classes to be seen:
Grange line:
1 to 2 3000 series railcars off peak and on weekends, 2 to 3 3000 series railcars on peak.

Outer Harbor line:
1 to 2 3000 series railcars used off peak and on weekends, 2 to 3 3000 series railcars on peak although 3 car sets are rare.

Gawler Central line:
1 to 2 3000 series railcars used off peak and on weekends, 2 to 4 2000 and 3000 series railcars on peak.

Time frames and timetables:
All timetables are in pdf format.

Gawler Central line
Outer Harbor line
Grange line

Extra railcar information:
South Australian Railways - FAQ

Tram information and formation:

In comparison to the rail system, the tram line from Adelaide to Glenelg is very simple to track down. Virtually all services are worked by single unit Flexity classic trams although things in peak can get very tight with all 11 thrown onto the mainline with no spare trams. Should more then one Flexity be out of service, a coupled H class set is used in peak period only in emergency. However, the H class are still regularly scheduled to run in service on weekends and public holidays on three return trips, one in the morning and two in the afternoon. These heritage runs are listed in a seperate section of the current tram timetable making tracking these runs down a piece of cake!

Time frames and timetables:
The timetable is in pdf format.

Glenelg line
  Somebody in the WWW Banned

Location: Banned
The total system has around 200kms of route mileage formed of double track on all mainlines except the Gawler to Gawler Central section and single track on both branch lines and the Belair line after Keswick

If I can be pedantic, Midlunga - Outer Harbor is also single track Wink. Is there still a morning peak run to Tonsley which gets a Jumbo set? Could be worth nothing that line has no services after 6pm either.

Good work overall.
  409 Minister for Railways

Sorry, that bit slipped my mind. As for the Jumbo run to Tonsley, I think that was cut when the Gawler line services were changed to the current timetable from April 27. Considering the scale of this 'project', I am probably going to make a mistake here and there and feedback is always welcomed.
  409 Minister for Railways


South Australia may not have as many preservation groups running as some of the other states, the state still do have a number of preservation societies that are well worth the visit. From Steamranger running south from Mt Barker to Victor Harbor to the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide to the Pichi Richi Railway in the north and several other groups in between, you are bound to find something to tickle your fancy.

National Railway Museum
Yorke Peninsula Railway
Pichi Richi Railway
St Kilda Tramway Museum

Preservation information - Metropolitan Adelaide:
Unfortunately, the metropolitan area of Adelaide (or SA for that matter) doesn't have any mainline preservation running, this is made up for with two high quality museums. The first being the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide and the second being the St Kilda Tramway Museum.

The National Railway Museum was between 1963 and 1988 located at Mile End as an open air display but in 1988 was shifted to it's present location (on the former site of the old Port Dock railway station, opened in 1856) and all the exhibits placed under cover. Since the museum was opened, the original collection from Mile End has been expanded on and the museum now has a massive collection of locomotives and rollingstock from the South Australian Railways, the Commonwealth Railways, Silverton Tramway Company, BHP as well as other smaller private operators. Exhibits from all three main railway gauges as well as 2ft private operators are displayed. In 2001, the museum had an additional pavillion added for Commonwealth Railways as well as triple gauge trackwork installed, unique to South Australia. The collection is enormous to say the least.

National Railway Museum

The St Kilda Tramway Museum was established in 1957, one year before the closure of the Adelaide tramway system with the exception of the Glenelg line in 1958. Originally, the museum was a static display but in 1972, the museum became operational with a few restored trams running over 2km of track running either beside a street or between 2 salt pans. Today, the tram fleet has grown to such an extent that virtually every type of tram to have run in Adelaide is now preserved with the vast majority in operational order. Other Adelaide trams are also under restoration. Several trams from interstate are also preserved. More specifically, two Melbourne W2s and a W7 along with a Sydney R1 on loan from Loftus. Finally, a few buses from Adelaide's once extensive trolley bus system as well as a early diesel buses.

St Kilda Tramway Museum

Locomotive classes to be seen:
National Railway Museum

Broad gauge - Narrow gauge
South Australian Railways steam: Rx 93, P 117, F 255, 504, 523, 624, 702, Y 97, T 253, 409
South Australian Railways diesel: 351, 507, 801, 900, 930
South Australian Railways railcars: 8, 41, 257, 321, 400

Standard gauge - Narrow gauge
Commonwealth Railways steam: G 1, NM 34
Commonwealth Railways diesel: GM 2, NSU 61
Commonwealth Railways railcars: CB 1

Broad gauge - Narrow gauge - 2ft
Other operators steam: STC Y 12, STC A 21, STC W 25, Millaquin 2 'Skipper'
Other operators diesel: R&H unnumbered, R&H 304 and 306
Other operators electric: BHP E 1

Tram classes to be seen:
St Kilda Tramway Museum

Operational - Under restoration - * external ownership and only on static display - #external ownership but in use
Municiple Tramways Trust: A 1, A 10, A 14, A 15, B 42, C 186, D 192, E1 111, E 118, F 244, F1 264, F1 282, G 303, H 360, H 361*, H 362, H 364, H 365*, H 378#, H1 381

Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board:
W 2 294, W2 354, W7 1013

Sydney Tramways:
R1 1971

Locations and how to get there:
National Railway Museum:
The National Railway Museum is accessible by public transport from Adelaide. The fastest option is to take an Outer Harbor train to Port Adelaide railway station. Because Port Adelaide station is built on Commercial Road viaduct, the only way to and from the platforms is via a long winding ramp to ground level. The main road is Commercial Road, follow it until you reach the set of traffic lights on the intersection of Commercial Road and Godfrey Street where you then take a right. Follow Godfrey Street to Lipson Street where you will find the entrance to the National Railway Museum on the opposite side of the road.

St Kilda Tramway Museum:
There is no direct public transport to St Kilda, a taxi from Salisbury Interchange on the Gawler Central line perhaps being the quickest option. There is also the option of taking the 400 bus out to Paralowie and then walk to St Kilda along Port Wakefield Road and St Kilda Road although this is a distance of 5km or so and is not for the faint hearted (especially since Port Wakefield Road is part of the national highway system). If you have access to private transport while in SA, this would no doubt be the fastest and probably best option.  The museum itself is located along the left hand side of St Kilda Road.

Preservation - South of Adelaide:
Until 2006, the Limestone Coast Railway used to run from Mt Gambier to Milicent and Coonawarra but due to PLI costs and a lack of volunteers, these operations ceased.

South of Adelaide, there is only one preservation society but it is not to be missed. The Steamranger Heritage Railway runs over what must be the longest preserved railway in Australia running a total of 80kms from Mt Barker to Victor Harbor. A number of services are offered such as the famous Cockle Train from Goolwa to Victor Harbor and return to the Highlander from Mt Barker to Strathalbyn and return to the longest of them all, the Southern Encounter from Mt Barker to Victor Harbor and return, a journey of 160kms in total. The line itself is spectacular as it runs through the southern reaches of the Adelaide Hills through rolling fields and bush land towards Goolwa. After Goolwa, the line runs close to and then (literally) on the coast front to Victor Harbor.

Locomotive classes to be seen:
Steamranger Heritage Railway

Broad gauge - Operational
South Australian Railways steam: F 251, Rx 207, Rx 224, 621, 520
South Australian Railways diesel: 350, 515, 958
South Australian Railways railcars: 60, 412, 428

Time frames and timetables:

Cockle Train
Southern Encounter

Locations and how to get there:
Mt Barker station is on the very edge of the Adelaide metropolitan area and it is possible to access Mt Barker railway station via public transport from the city. A brand new bus interchange sitting right infront of the station making things even easier. To ge there by bus, take the 864M from Currie Street in the Adelaide CBD all the way to Mt Barker Interchange. Bus timetables can be found here.

At the other end of the line, Victor Harbor station can also be reached by Premier Stateliner bus from Adelaide. The link goes straight to the pdf timetable to Victor Harbor.

Preservation - North of Adelaide:
North of Adelaide, there are two preservation societies worth visiting, the broad gauge Yorke Peninsula Railway that runs over 50km or so from Wallaroo on the coast to Kadina and then Bute using a collection of ex SAR/STA/TransAdelaide railcars. Until 2004, the society ran trains using ex VR T class 387 and several E series coaches but T 387 was swapped for several Redhens and 'Superchooks' previously stored in Bendigo.

Yorke Peninsula Railway

Further north is the world famous Pichi Richi Railway which runs over 40km of the former narrow gauge Great Northern Railway from Port Augusta to Quorn. The line has a lot to offer, leaving Port Augusta, the line runs parallel with the ARTC mainline across Lake Knockout before the line starts to climb through the scenic Pichi Richi pass over several bridges as well as over embankments made of stone blocks cut out by Chinese labourers and British stonemasons. A large variety of motive power from the SAR, CR, STC and even the WAGR is used together with an equally diverse range of rollingstock from the SAR and CR.

Pichi Railway Railway Preservation Society

Railcar classes to be seen:
Yorke Peninsula Railway - Operational
South Australian Railways: 406, 416, 432, 435
State Transport Authority: 2301, 2302, 2501 (Superchooks)

Time frames and timetables:

YPR services run every 2 weeks to every month or so, it is advisable to check the timetable using the link below.

Train information and formation:
Trains are formed with a variety of railcars from the fleet ranging from a single 400 class redhen to several redhens to a combination of redhens and superchooks to superchooks only ranging upto 4 cars in length although 2 are more the norm.

Locomotive/railcar classes to be seen:
Pichi Richi Railway - Operational, Under restoration
South Australian Railways steam: Wx 18, Yx 141, T 186
Commonwealth Railways steam: NM 25
Silverton Tramway Company steam: W 22
Western Australian Government Railways steam: W 931, W 933, W 934

Commonwealth Railways diesel: NB 30, NSU 51, NSU 52, NSU 54[/b], NT 76

South Australian Railways railcars: SMC 1 (Coffee Pot), 106

Time frames and timetables:

Like Steamranger down south, the Pichi Richi Railway offers more then one service.

Afghan Express
Wizards Explorer
Pichi Richi Explorer
Dining trains
Private Hire

Train information and formation:
Trains on the Pichi Richi Railway are diverse to say the least with a large variety of ex SAR and CR rollingstock to choose from ranging from the spartan 'Short Tom' coaches right up to former Commisioner's coach NSS34. From time to time, the Afghan Express will also run as a mixed train with a few freight wagons attached between the loco and the coaches.

Locations and how to get there:
Wallaroo railway station is located on John Street, the 1920s stone building serves as not only the headquarters of the YPR but are also used as local council offices.

[image coming soon]

For the Pichi Richi Railway, location and travelling information can be found HERE.
  dawesybj Chief Train Controller

Location: Morphett Vale Sth Australia
Freightlink do have VL Loco's now on the and maybe a SCT Loco they lent of SCT  just to add to your list they you done at the start of this thread
  Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...
Also note, for those who want a slightly more scenic walk to Foster's Corner, there is a track just inside the national park that will also take you there.

Just remember to take note of all signs, as there are some plant disease outbreaks, and as such control points have been established in certain places around the park.
  Crispin Station Staff

Its the 864 bus, not the 864M that does to Stirling and Mount Barker. Some 864's also connect with a 868 at Stirling that goes past Mount Lofty Station, stop 36B is the closest stop.
  Thornaby Chief Train Controller

An excellent thread and good info imho. Thanks Smile
  409 Minister for Railways

I'll fill in more of it in the coming week or so, I am however currently finishing off the year's TAFE work so that is taking priority at the moment.
  Thornaby Chief Train Controller

Linky to the ARTC timetable no longer works. Any chance of a new one being posted?
  TomS_ Locomotive Fireman
  subzero Locomotive Driver

Location: Adelaide SA
What a great thread and thanks for the up to date ARTC timetable link.  Now my son and I dont need to leave spotting a freight train between Lynton - Belair stations to chance!
  TomS_ Locomotive Fireman

My personal experience is that the times are not very reliable.

Ive been out to try and catch a train on several occasions, but none have come by and after an hour of waiting I usually end up leaving and going home.

The one time I did manage to catch one it was about 30 minutes behind schedule I think.

If anyone has an idea about how reliable these timetables are, or if theres a more reliable one, I'd like to know. Smile
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
My personal experience is that the times are not very reliable.

Ive been out to try and catch a train on several occasions, but none have come by and after an hour of waiting I usually end up leaving and going home.

The one time I did manage to catch one it was about 30 minutes behind schedule I think.

If anyone has an idea about how reliable these timetables are, or if theres a more reliable one, I'd like to know. Smile

It's not like a commuter railway. You are running 5000t, 1.8 kilometre long trains on single track, plus these trains are running long distances over several corridors with jouney times of 50-60hrs in some cases. Delays are inevitable.

Sometimes a train might pass you 3 hours late, but still end up at its dsetination on time. Of course the oppsite can also happen.

The timetable is what is supposed to happen and determines the priority of individual trains.

Other than investing in a scanner, there ain't a lot you can do but be patient.
  dawesybj Chief Train Controller

Location: Morphett Vale Sth Australia
When is the best day to chase trains on the south line from adeladie to murray bridge?
  SteamRanger Chief Train Controller

Location: Warrnambool
I've found that you can Gunzel trains from Mt Lofty to Murray Bridge and stop by at Bridgewater, Mt Barker Junction & Callington along the way with plenty of time up your sleeve at each point.
It's only a 40 min drive up the freeway from MtL to MB but it take about 70 minutes for a freight to get from MtL to MB.
Due to the railway winding its way through the hills, the freight trains travel at a slower pace than out across the flats.
The SE freeway has a speed limit of 110km so moving from point to point is really fast & easy.
  Clive4105 Locomotive Driver

Location: Mallala
Tremendous read! very informative.

  seniorcit Locomotive Fireman

Very informative , much needed , source of "Phot Spots" . Thankyou for your time and efforts in producing it all , very much appreciated by us that are not "in the know" !
  LowndesJ515 #TeamRog

Location: Not in Victoria
Anything decent running around this weekend? Grainy's?

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