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Adelaide-Port Augusta railway line

In 1937, the South Australian Railways extended its broad gauge line north from Redhill to Port Pirie. In the same year, the Commonwealth Railways extended its standard gauge Trans-Australian Railway line from Port Augusta south to Port Pirie.[2]

Adelaide-Port Augusta railway line
Port Augusta
Continues fromAdelaide-Wolseley line
Continues asTrans-Australian Railway
OwnerAustralian Rail Track Corporation
Number of tracks1
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Old gauge1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Route map

GWA Port Augusta Yard
Port Augusta
closed 2016
Winninowie loop
Mambray Creek loop
Port Germein loop
GWA Port Pirie Yard
Coonamia (Port Pirie)
AWB Crystal Brook Grain Terminal
Crystal Brook loop
Rocky River loop
Redhill loop
Snowtown loop
Viterra Snowtown Grain Terminal
Kadina line (dual gauge)
closed 1993
Nantawarra loop
Bowmans Rail Terminal
Long Plains loop
Mallala loop
Viterra Mallala Grain Terminal
Two Wells loop
Bolivar loop
SCT Penfield Terminal
GWA Dry Creek North Yard
Dry Creek loop
Private freight terminal
Adelaide Freight Terminal
Mile End loop
Adelaide Parklands Terminal
Belair & Seaford lines


In 1980, the Federal and State Governments entered an agreement to convert the line from Adelaide to standard gauge, albeit altered to meet the Trans-Australian Railway at Crystal Brook.[3] This allowed Adelaide to become the last mainland state capital to join the standard gauge network. The line opened in 1982. It runs on the western side of the same corridor as the Gawler railway line from north of Salisbury railway station to the triangle near Adelaide Gaol, and continues on the western side of the metropolitan broad gauge tracks to Adelaide Parklands Terminal. The new line allowed Australian National to operate The Ghan, Indian Pacific and Trans-Australian through to Adelaide without passengers having to change trains. In July 1998, it became part of the Australian Rail Track Corporation network.

Until late 2017, this meant that the standard gauge trains had to cross the Outer Harbor railway line at-grade at Torrens Junction, north of the River Torrens. In 2017, this conflict was removed by lowering the suburban Outer Harbor line into a trench so it could pass under the standard gauge line. This would ease timetable and operational conflicts on both services.[4]

Genesee & Wyoming Australia, Great Southern Rail, Pacific National and SCT Logistics operate services via the line.

SCT Logistics' Penfield intermodal terminal is connected to a siding south of the Northern Expressway and the Bolivar crossing loop.[5]


Crossing loopsEdit

The maximum length of trains on this line is 1.8 kilometres, and almost all crossing loops are of this length. East of Mile End the maximum train length is 1.5 kilometres, though this is starting to be increased to 1.8 kilometres also.

Mile EndEdit

The crossing loop at the Adelaide Parklands Terminal at Mile End is of length 1,658m.

Dry CreekEdit

The first crossing loop north of Adelaide, of length 1,950m, is south of Dry Creek.


The original Bolivar crossing loop is located about 30 km by rail from Mile End, between Taylors Road, (now the western end of the Northern Expressway), and King Road, both in Virginia. (The King Road gated level crossing actually crossed two tracks.)[6][7] As Virginia pre-existed the original building of the line, it is unclear why the crossing loop was named "Bolivar" - Bolivar is several kilometres from Virginia; there is no local passenger train service on this line, and long distance passenger trains do not stop.

Australian Rail Track Corporation has a file dated 2004 with a diagram of Bolivar loop.[8]

In 2012, after replacement of the Taylors Road level crossing with an overbridge, the Bolivar crossing loop was extended from 1200m to the standard 1800m.[9]

Penfield intermodal hubEdit

In 2007, it was proposed that an Intermodal Rail/Road facility be built in the Edinburgh Parks area. Accordingly, an area of rural/agricultural land in Penfield was rezoned in 2008.[10][11]

In the 2010s, SCT Logistics[12] and another company started to develop an intermodal hub.[13][14] The new facilities and trackwork commenced construction on the north-east side of the line, south of the Northern Expressway and north of Heaslip Road and RAAF Base Edinburgh, in 2011/2012.

Two WellsEdit

The next crossing loop, of length 1,817m, is at Two Wells - the loop is between Gawler Rd and Tenby Rd.


There are about a dozen other crossing loops north of Two Wells - refer to the infobox to the right.

Crystal BrookEdit

Crystal Brook includes the triangle junction with the main line to Broken Hill and Sydney. Then there is a 968m crossing loop and siding with provision to load grain at the silos in the town. The tracks converge to single track to cross a bridge over the Crystal Brook, then split into double track for the 20km to Coonamia. The western track is for northbound travel and the eastern track for southbound, except that there is a balloon loop for loading grain from the AWB silos which is accessed by proceeding a short distance north on the eastern track.[15]:62–66


Coonamia railway station is the station and triangle junction servicing the town of Port Pirie. It is the northern end of the section of dual track from Crystal Brook.[15]:67–68

Port GermeinEdit

The 1960m crossing loop at Port Germein had a 110m goods siding commissioned in 2015. The siding is operated by SCT Logistics.[16][15]:69,70


  1. ^ Adelaide - Port Augusta SA Track & Signal
  2. ^ Rail Standardisation National Railway Museum
  3. ^ Rail Agreement (Adelaide to Crystal Brook Railway) Act 1980 Government of Australia
  4. ^ Kemp, Miles (13 September 2017). "Major disruption to Outer Harbor and Gawler train lines as work starts on Park Tce underpass". The Advertiser. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  5. ^ "DRY CRK(ex) to (CRYSTAL BRK(ex) Yard Plans & Component Identification" (PDF). Australian Rail Track Corporation. July 2011. TA400010. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  6. ^ Curve Details: Dry Creek North to Crystal Brook, pg.1, in Curve Details: Mile End to Crystal Brook, ARTC, Jun 2006
  7. ^ Protected Level Crossings, Appendix V, ARTC Document No. TA02, Issue 2.2, 30 June 2004, pg.2
  8. ^ Interstate Network Overview Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Appendix II, ARTC Document No. TA02, Issue 2.2, 20 June 2004, pg.7
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Penfield intermodal rail freight facility amendment, Development Plan Amendment (DPA), Minister for Urban Development and Planning,
    Written submissions on the DPA were received for a period of eight weeks, from Thursday 14 February 2008 to Thursday 10 April 2008. The Penfield Intermodal Rail Freight Facility DPA was approved by the Minister for Urban Development and Planning on 7 August 2008.
  11. ^ Community information sheet, Rail Freight Terminal at Penfield – rezoning for an Intermodal facility, Planning SA, February 2008,
  12. ^ SCT Logistics home page
  13. ^ $30 Million rail freight terminal for South Australia, 4 February 2011, T&DC Pty Ltd,
  14. ^ Rail Freight Terminal for South Australia, Media Release from the City of Playford, 25 January 2011,
  15. ^ a b c "Network Information Book West CTC Dry Creek North Junction (exc) to Spencer Junction (inc)" (PDF). Australian Rail Track Corporation. 22 February 2018. OGW-30-09. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  16. ^ "CHANGE LOG - ARTC DIN Corridor (South Australia - Western Australia)". SA Track and Signal. Retrieved 6 June 2018.