THIESS York Joint Venture was last week awarded the contract to construct the Goodwood underpass that will separate freight and passenger services and aims to improve safety, reduce travelling times and lift the overall productivity of the Interstate Rail Network.
The start of work of the project has been brought forward to early next year to coincide with the track upgrade of the Noarlunga line and the Adelaide Rail Yard.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the new underpass will speed up the movement of freight trains through the City, improve the reliability of its passenger services, ease traffic congestion around the CBD and boost national productivity.
"Recommended by Infrastructure Australia, this project will separate freight from passenger services by diverting the line used by one beneath that used by the other, thus eliminating the need for trains on either track to stop while those on the other pass through," Mr Albanese said.
The Goodwood Junction upgrade is the first stage in a joint Federal and State funded initiative totalling $443 million, which also includes works at Torrens Junction.
When complete in September 2013, the Goodwood underpass is expected to:
- Reduce train travel times;
- Reduce traffic waiting times at Cross Road, Leader and Victoria Street rail crossings;
- Improve safety;
- Provide enhanced landscaping and lighting; and
- Improve local cycle and pedestrian links, including a new connection to the Greenways cycleway.
South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Patrick Conlon said the underpass is a vital step towards building a system that will deliver customers fast, frequent and more environmentally-friendly public transport.
"By undertaking these works now, we can also avoid future increases in delays for traffic, as more frequent passenger trains will commence when the electrified Seaford Rail Extension opens," Mr Conlon said.
"Currently, the freight trains decelerate and travel at reduced speed (down to 20 km/h) through the adjacent signalised road level crossings, which can cause considerable delays to road traffic – up to five minutes each time.
"Grade separation will mean freight train transit times are reduced, delivery services will be more reliable and delays will be reduced at the Leader Street and Victoria Street level crossings for road users waiting for trains to clear," the Minister said.
Construction is expected to commence early next year as part of a coordinated package of rail works to be undertaken during the month-long Adelaide Railway Station closure and the longer-term closures of the Noarlunga and Belair lines from 2 January 2013.
Initial works at Goodwood are expected to be completed by July 2013, weather permitting, to coincide with the return of passenger train services on the Belair line.
All other works will be completed in September. However, pedestrian and cycle access will be maintained for the majority of this time.
More information about the project is available from <http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/RR/rail_revitalisation/goodwood_junction>.