Mount Barker train would be ‘huge win’ for business, local association says

Topic moved from News by bevans on 27 Jul 2019 09:23
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Good comment. I suspect the B/C ratio would be miniscule!
The other crucial assumption being made is that the people commuting to Adelaide via the SE Freeway are largely destined for the city or locations adjacent to the line.
IMHO, this is highly unlikely; given the social demographic of Mt Barker, their destinations are far more likely to be scattered across the larger metro area, with probably a focus on the industrial and commercial areas in the suburbs S and SW of the city.
Very good comment.

The people moving into the expanding parts of Mount Barker are not the typical hills commuters who live around Stirling etc, they are typically working/middle class people who have been priced out of the metro area.

New developments are springing up at Balhannah, Woodside etc with the same sort of residents.

It would be interesting to see the data if it exists, but I would expect that a good proportion of people riding the buses in from Mt Barker are then changing onto other buses after arriving in the city or at the bottom of the hill.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I cannot find an old Mt Barker train timetable so a few comparisons

So from this I'm guessing a Adelaide station, Goodwood station, Belair station then all to Mt Barker Station service would take 75 - 90min, which is not too bad …
You're looking at the outer end of that 75-90 minutes.

Attacking the approximation of the time from another direction:

ARTC Master Train Plan time (yes, the usual disclaimers about the MTP apply) for the Overland going non-stop from the passing loop at Mount Barker Junction to Keswick: 62 minutes.
Mount Barker to Mount Barker Junction: 5.2km of tight curves which would keep speeds down to ~45 km/h, probably about 8 minutes.
Keswick to Adelaide: 7-10 minutes, depending on how things go with junctions, network interfaces etc
Time lost at intermediate stops (Adelaide Showground, Belair, Mount Lofty, Bridgewater, Balhannah): 8-10 minutes
Total time: 85-90 minutes
Getting a train to 'Adelaide' in the 21st century and getting dropped off on the wrong side of North Terrace in borrowed parklands: priceless

So from this I'm guessing a Adelaide station, Goodwood station, Belair station then all to Mt Barker Station service would take 75 - 90min, which is not too bad and if the Belair line is popular, then maybe this would work if a few services a day.
- Morning peak direction,
- Midday up and back
- PM peak direction
Sat/Sun, return to City in AM and PM

1 x SG set with spare would do this easily.
Decent service pattern proposal, but thought would need to be given to how the reliability of the service would be maintained against ARTC's regular pattern of doing off-peak track maintenance somewhere along the route.

Running a micro-fleet of SG cars would also hit service reliability.

The hard part is the last 1.5km of DG trackage from the Y junction near Adelaide station through a number of points. Would it be worth it?
Not worth it for just a couple of trains a day. Initially terminating at Adelaide Showground might be the best available option to get an initial trial service up and running.

But it does present a good case for the gains to be made at a fraction of the cost by improving conditions for buses travelling along Glen Osmond Road. A 55 minute peak service (50 minute off-peak) should be the target, and you would get improvements for the local buses on Glen Osmond Road bundled in for good measure.

Each station currently out of service needs the full 21st century DAA package upgrade, plus likely 2 tracks being converted to DG into Adelaide station, that won't be done for less than a few million.
New SG platform at Adelaide Showground (easier than upgrading Goodwood, better connections) if ARTC allows it
Upgrade at Belair – or at Blackwood instead for a more useful stop
Upgrade at Mount Lofty
New stations at Bridgewater and Balhannah if ARTC allow them
Upgrade or new platform at Mount Barker

If heritage listings cannot be retracted, expect the old station upgrades to go well past a million dollars each.

Other infrastructure:
Dual gauge into Adelaide, including link line at Mile End and signalling installations.
Rebuilt track from Mount Barker to Mount Barker Junction, including signalling installations, secure stabling facility, connection to ARTC network.
Stabling/maintenance facility at the Adelaide end.

Also, can suitable slots be made available by ARTC?
The Adelaide-Melbourne line is pretty sleepy these days, only 4-5 trains each way per day.

If the operator is willing to pay, they'll get the access. The tougher question is whether ARTC will allow all these new passenger stations on their network - unlike the Vic and NSW lines which they lease (with conditions) from the respective state governments, ARTC actually own this route and would have a far greater say.
Thanks for your feedback.

Ok, so lets look at it this way, lowest cost trial option.

Mt Barker Junction Station to Goodwood Station.

- Mt Barker Jnc needs SG and some upgrades. My understanding is Steam Ranger have all but given up on the section Mt Barker to the Jnct so a low cost conversion to SG and a set of points is "all" thats required. Bus connection through town.

The satellite photo shows an existing set of points in