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THE closure of two major rail lines will lead to longer travel times and a move away from public transport, commuters say.
The Belair line will close for six months from January 2 to allow work to separate the commuter and freight lines at Millswood, while the Noarlunga line will close for eight months from the same date for electrification work.
Messenger Community News spoke to commuters at the Goodwood, Mitcham, Blackwood and Noarlunga stations last week about the closures.
While most understood the need for the closures, many said it would force them away from public transport.
They said the free bus service offered as an alternative would be slower and less reliable than the trains.
The State Government was unable to say how many buses would replace the trains.
Eden Hills resident Todd Fogarty, 20, said he would likely turn his back on public transport.
"The bus takes ages so driving is probably the best option.
"But that means paying for parking," he said.
Forestville resident Jennifer Soggee, 27, said she would have to allow more travel time without the train.
"It's only 10 minutes by train to get into the city," she said.
"Any other way - bus, car, bike or whatever - is 20 minutes or more so it will take a lot from my day."
Fellow commuter Nikki Halls, 21, said closing the line would cause havoc on the roads.
"Goodwood Rd is already really busy and this will only make it worse," she said.
"It can't handle the traffic that it gets now so I don't know what will happen.
"Driving is going to be a nightmare," she said.
Hawthorndene resident Maxwell Swanson was likely to turn his back on public transport.
"I use the train to get in to the city every day for uni and catching the train is really good,'' Mr Swanson said.
"I hate catching buses so I'll have to find another alternative in to the city when the line closes.
"I'll probably drive in.''
Lower Mitcham resident Mary Ann Seow believed closing the line would cause major havoc on the roads.
"I can see there will be more delays getting to work because people are going to be driving to work instead,'' Ms Seow said.
"There's going to be a lot of traffic congestion.''
Port Willunga resident Vicki Sulda, 46, said the Noarlunga line works would be inconvenient, especially as they coincided with the Southern Expressway duplication works.
"People are really disappointed they're doing the expressway and the train at the same time,'' she said.
"The amount of time we've been affected is huge (and) last year we had three or four months with no train line.
"My daughter travels to and from the city a lot for work, and it's going to inconvenience her and a lot of people.
"I'm sure it will be worth it ... but it's just sad it's going to take them so long.''
Aldinga resident Alana Overmeyer, 20, was dreading the extended travel time.
"The last time it happened it was an absolute pain,'' she said.
"It took as much a as an hour and a half to get from the city to Noarlunga.''
A Transport Department spokeswoman said the shutdown of the Belair line was necessary to avoid future closures.
"The alternative to closing parts of the network is to carry out the works over several years, which would result in frequent service interruptions, greater safety risk for workers and higher project delivery costs," she said.
The Adelaide Railway Station also would be closed, from January 2 to February 3, for electrification work and the rebuilding of the railyards.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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