National Railway Museum warns issues to resolve before Port Dock Railway spur can return
LOCALS are “over the moon” that the old Port Dock railway station is to make a comeback more than 30 years after it closed – but questions remain regarding its impact on the National Railway Museum’s site.
The State Government announced at the weekend a new $16.4 million rail spur leading to a railway station on Baker St will be added to the Outer Harbor line.
Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said that when the new line opens, Port Adelaide residents would be able to catch regular train services from a modern, safe and accessible station at the site of the current Jacketts Station at the National Railway Museum.
“The new station will be located on the doorstep of the Dock One waterfront redevelopment which will include more than 750 new townhouses and apartments, a refurbished Marine and Harbours building, and waterfront boardwalk,’’ he said.
“Construction will start next year and will support 48 jobs during construction.”
An artist's impression the heart of the Port, when rail is returned to it.
Since 1981, the line has passed well to the south of the town centre but the project will include reconstruction and duplication of the spur line from the existing Outer Harbor line at Grand Junction Road before the line crosses Port Rd.
Railway Museum executive officer Bob Sampson said while it would be fantastic for Port Adelaide, there are “a very long list of issues” that need to be addressed.
“We haven’t yet had a meeting with DPTI but basically it would mean the eastern side of our site where we conduct our own train operations and have a lot of materials stored (would) disappear,” Mr Sampson said.
He said it was critical that it was made clear where those train services and materials could be relocated and what the repercussions are for the museum before any construction takes place.
He added that he had been told by Mr Mullighan that he would be able to meet with the Transport Department to discuss these issues “soon”.
How it could look when rail returns to the Port.
Port Adelaide business leaders have been pushing for the Port Dock railway station to be reinstated for months.
McLachlan and Martin real estate agent Rob McLachlan has been leading the charge.
“The announcement is a major step in making the Port commercially attractive to business,” Mr McLachlan said.
“In view of the limited areas available for car parking, it is essential that the existing private and public sector workers and the future workforce, including the estimated 500 public servants to be housed in the new admin building, have reliable and conveniently located public transport.”
He said the new station’s location would open up the historic precinct and the former commercial centre of the Port housing the banks, shipping and trading companies.
Nadine Crampton, who is redeveloping the old Jones Brothers building on St Vincent St said it was exactly what the Port needed and that it was much more sensible than building a tram network because it would be cheaper and quicker for everyone.
“I’m over the moon, it is really going to help my building because people are going to be able travel from the city and come to Port Adelaide and have a meal and have a drink and travel back – it makes Port Adelaide accessible,” Ms Crampton said.
“It’s the match we needed to ignite the Port because we have all this talk and plans which is fantastic but if you don’t have infrastructure it doesn’t matter.”
Mayor Gary Johanson said the council had lobbied for a rail link to the heritage precinct because the existing railway station was at the quiet end of Port Adelaide – away from the waterfront.
“It’s very exciting and the start of many good news announcements for the Port,” Mr Johanson said.
An artist's impression of the planned Port spur line.