Ten years ago in Adelaide

Just over ten years ago I spent a week chasing trains, trams and buses around Adelaide. Since this resulted in too many photos to fit into my usual photos from ten years ago series, here is a special instalment.

Descending into Adelaide over seemingly endless suburbs

Tourist stuff

I headed down to Glenelg on the tram.

Citadis 202 at the Mosley Square terminus, Glenelg

Wondered about the ‘Polities’ signs everywhere.

Another 'Polites' sign in Rundle Mall

Headed to the beach at Grange.

Row of terrace houses opposite Grange Jetty

Wandered along Rundle Mall.

Looking down on Rundle Mall

And visited Victoria Square.

Looking north at Victoria Square

Suburban trains

I rode Adelaide’s since retired ‘Jumbo’ railcars.

Passing Jumbo 2104 in the hills between Hallett Cove and Lonsdale

And the diesel version of Melbourne’s Comeng railcars.

Afternoon peak, a few commuters depart Comeng 3137 at Marino Rocks station

Finding a six carriage consist, featuring 12 driving cabs.

Are 12 cabs enough for you?

And passengers riding up front beside the train driver.

Someone doing a 'Titanic' on the front window of TransAdelaide railcar 3011

I walked along the coast at Marino to capture some trains by the sea.

3-car Jumbo set heads into town at Marino

And stopped off at the bizarre Emerson Crossing – where the intersection of South Road and Cross Road meets the Seaford railway line at a level crossing, with the South Road Overpass passing over it all.

A solo Comeng 3013 departs Emerson on the down, stopping traffic at the intersection

A run down network

I found decrepit stations like the single track terminus of Tonsley.

End of the line at Tonsley station, the runaround loop lifted

And the narrow platforms at Keswick.

Overview of the platforms at Keswick from the pedestrian footbridge

The line up to Belair was single track, with a handful of toy-like crossing loops along the way.

Exiting the Eden Hills Tunnel on the down, the crossing loop up ahead

And instead of automatic pedestrian gates at level crossings, illuminated ‘Caution more than one train’ warning signs were installed at passive crossings.

Illuminated 'Caution more than one train' warning sign at a crib crossing

But there were signs of new life – the extension of suburban trains to Seaford was underway, alongside the electrification of the network.

Looking south along the Onkaparinga River bridge piers

The Gawler line was also being rebuilt.

Coleman Rail hi-rail pushing loaded ballast wagons

But electrification of the line was postponed in 2013, but eventually restarted in 2019 – but has seen many delays since.

Tourist trains

I headed down to Victor Harbor to ride the Steamranger tourist railway.

Running around the train at Victor Harbor

Taking a trip along the cost to Goolwa and back.

Returning to Goolwa, with Victor Harbor and Granite Island in the background

I also stumbled upon the Indian Pacific headed north out of North Adelaide.

NR27 leads DL40 on the Indian Pacific out of town at North Adelaide

And The Ghan almost at the end of a three day journey from Darwin.

Almost home: NR75 leads the Adelaide-bound Ghan through Two Well

At Keswick I found the empty Great Southern Rail terminal.

Down end of the platforms at Keswick

Carriages for the Indian Pacific being shunted through the train wash.

PL1 shunts carriages for the Indian Pacific in the yard at Keswick

And spare carriages stabled in the sidings.

Stored carriages owned by GSR at the down end of Keswick

Freight trains

West of Adelaide I found a massive ‘double stack’ freight train headed for Perth.

Double stacked PN freight heads west out of Adelaide near Bolivar

But freight trains towards Melbourne were more constrained – having to pass over the suburban tracks on the level at Goodwood Junction – grade separated in 2014 at a cost of $110 million.

Looking down the Belair line tracks at Goodwood Junction, the Noarlunga line headed to the right

And again at Torrens Junction – grade separated in 2018 at a cost of $238 million.

Looking in a down direction along the standard gauge track at Torrens Junction

And buses

A trip to Adelaide isn’t complete without a ride on the O-Bahn Busway.

#1467 approaches Paradise Interchange citybound

Buses running along concrete tracks.

Detail of the O-Bahn guideway track, two lengths of running track bolted to the crosshead beams, which are attached to piles

Steered along by two small guide wheels.

Detail of the guide wheel attached to the front wheels of every O-Bahn equipped bus

Buses stop at three bus stations between the Adelaide CBD and Tea Tree Plaza.

Outbound #1447 stops for passengers at Klemzig Station, as a citybound bus does the same

Sump busters‘ used to prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering the busway.

Detail of the 'sump buster' used to prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering the O-Bahn Busway

Another odd feature is the double ended busway recovery truck nicknamed ‘Dumbo’.

The double ended busway recovery truck nicknamed 'Dumbo'

Specially designed to enter the O-Bahn track from either direction, and tow away a broken down bus.

Disabled artic #1147 under tow at Currie and King William Streets

Power stations

Don’t you go hunting down power stations when you go on holiday?

Barkers Inlet and Torrens Island Power Station

I went past the massive 1,280 MW gas fired power station at Torrens Island.

Torrens Island Power Station viewed from across the Port River

The 58MW Port Stanvac Power Station, made up of 36 diesel generators.

65 MW Port Stanvac power station in Adelaide

And the 20 MW peaking Lonsdale Power Station, with just 18 diesel generators.

Apparently a few dozen diesel generators can be called a 'power station'

A one way freeway?

A reversible one way freeway sounds bizarre, but Adelaide used to have one – the Southern Expressway between Bedford Park and Old Noarlunga. The three lane road was setup for traffic in either direction.

Driving down the Southern Expressway - it only *looks* like I'm going the wrong way

Changing direction twice a day.

Opening hours of the  Southern Expressway

On and off ramps opening and closing based on the current direction of travel.

Northern end of the Southern Expressway closed to southbound traffic

Indicated by rotating prism signs at interchanges.

Closed entrance to the  Southern Expressway, due to traffic running in the reverse direction

With warnings signs to ensure motorists didn’t drive down the wrong way.

Open entrance to the  Southern Expressway, due to trafifc flowing in my direction

Opened in 1997, work on upgrading the freeway to two way operation commenced in 2011, and was completed in 2014.

And ghosts of the past

Adelaide would have to go down as a graveyard of Australian manufacturing.

Graveyard of Australian manufacturing

Home of the former Mitsubishi engine plant at Lonsdale – closed in 2005

Entry to the former Mitsubishi Lonsdale engine plant

The Mitsubishi vehicle assembly plant at Tonsley Park, closed in 2008.

Abandoned Mitsubishi factory in Adelaide

And Mobil’s mothballed Port Stanvac Refinery – demolished in 2014.

Port Stanvac Refinery abandoned upon the hill

But Adelaide also had an abandoned shopping centre – the top floors of the Myer Centre.

Abandoned top floors of the Myer Centre in Adelaide

And an abandoned international airport terminal.

"International Terminal" signage on the old terminal at Adelaide

Replaced by a combined domestic and international terminal in 2005.

Abandoned arrivals hall of Adelaide Airport's international terminal

But time to fly home

The ‘real’ Adelaide Airport was rather nice.

Looking along the departure gate lounges at Adelaide Airport

Big windows looking out over the city.

Looking through the Adelaide Airport windows towards the CBD skyline

And a view of aircraft on the apron.

Regional Express Saab 340B with the Adelaide skyline behind

So farewell to Adelaide circa 2011.

High over West Beach, departing Adelaide

I ended up returning in 2015 and 2019 – but travelling on The Overland instead.


Here you can find the rest of my ‘photos from ten years ago‘ series.

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3 Responses to “Ten years ago in Adelaide”

  1. indigohex3 says:

    I do believe that the Southern Expressway in Adelaide was once the record holder for the longest one-way street in the world according to Guinness World Records. Don’t know what street holds the record now.

  2. […] Adelaide runs both standard and articulated buses along their oddball O-Bahn Busway. […]

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