A brief shutdown of construction due to COVID-19 restrictions couldn’t stop the newly extended Flinders Line opening before the end of 2020.
The former Tonsley Line reopened as the Flinders Line and the first trains ran on the new section of line on December 29.
Two new stations also opened, Tonsley and Flinders railway stations, creating a heavy rail link to the health and education precinct in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.
“The Flinders Link project extends the existing Tonsley passenger rail line to the Flinders Medical Centre which in turn improves links to the Adelaide Central Business district,” the said Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
Acting South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Rob Lucas, said that the project not only added new infrastructure, but paved the way for additional services.
“We’re delivering more than 12,000 additional trips every year including, for the first time, weekend and late-night train services to the city,” he said.
“We have listened to the community to ensure the timetables will provide the service residents expect, including making sure medical staff can catch the train for their early morning shifts.”
President and vice-chancellor of Flinders University professor Colin Stirling said that the rail line would be an improvement for the institution.
“This is a game changer. Students from across greater Adelaide who may previously have struggled to get to Flinders can now get from the CBD to our front door in barely 20 minutes. Each time the train door opens, it’s opening onto opportunities for careers in health, education, science and technology, and more.”
The 650m extension includes an elevated track over Sturt Road, Laffer’s Triangle and Main South Road, as well as an integrated pedestrian/cycle path. Finishing works will continue for the coming weeks.
During Adelaide’s “circuit breaker” lockdown in November, work on the Flinders Link had to be paused. Rather than opening as originally scheduled on December 26, the first services ran on December 29.