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While London, Paris and Sydney welcome international train passengers into their city centres, Adelaide throws down the welcome mat on a lonely platform at Keswick Railway Station.
A barren landscape of concrete, rubbish and stranded trains greets passengers. With little weather protection and no visible ATMs, pay phones or vending machines, passengers must collect their luggage and wait, many surprised there are no taxis nor buses to take them into the city.
The Advertiser approached visitors on The Ghan last week. Their response to the dilapidated station was less than positive.
Scott Kennedy, 27 from Britain, said the terminal was quiet, tired and there were no ATMs. "We can't get money out and there are no shuttle buses to the city," he said. Charles Garic, 61 from Rockhampton in Queensland, said: "It's a bit on the shonky side. Considering Adelaide is such a nice city it should be made more welcoming for visitors."
Located on Richmond Rd in the industrial suburb of Keswick, the station is 3.8km by rail to Adelaide Railway Station.
National Railway Museum manager Des Egan says the major problem for a central transport hub in the city is gauge widths. Keswick was built in 1985 on standard gauge. Adelaide's suburban lines are on broad gauge. He says a dual-gauge track could link the two.
While he put the cost at millions, Mr Egan says it will bring travellers into the city. "Arriving directly into Adelaide by train was tops," he says. "I used to travel on the train from Adelaide to Mt Gambier and it was exciting, especially coming back into Adelaide."
Owner of the site, Great Southern Railways, plans to upgrade Keswick. Chief executive officer Tony Braxton Smith says their "two to three-year vision" is to contribute $500,000. They seek matching government support.
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