Nice ironic joke post! The Red Hens of course looked significantly more like trams than the new EMUs, they rode like trams too and they were noisier than any tram I've ever ridden in Adelaide as well.
All Seaford services will be electric so the hand outs say. I doubt there are enough DMUs to extend the NC service to Seaford and if they did it would be a "one buttock" solution.
They would not want to start Seaford services without the proposed intensive timetable which can only be worked by the EMUs.
As for 1 February, we will wait with eager but unheld breath. The present Gov't would want it running before the March elections but not the publicity if it stuffs up.
I disagree about putting off the opening any later than absolutely necessary. The three linked projects (Seaford line construction, electrification and the new EMUs) have all overrun their completion dates quite badly, leaving it closed any later than it needs to be is a free kick to the Libs for March.
An earlier opening before enough EMUs are available to run all Adelaide-Seaford trains need not be a problem, the goalposts just need to be shifted to aim for an easier opening service than a full Adelaide-Seaford/Tonsley timetable. Running a couple of EMUs as a free 'preview' shuttle service between Noarlunga and Seaford (i.e. going no further from home than the Lonsdale sidings in case something went wrong) would surely be a hugely popular move that would need only a couple of units to be in service each day. Even between now and February there are plenty of 'milestone' dates that would allow for some kind of launch of even just a shuttle service (or shuttles plus selected 'premium' express peak trains) with a big fanfare, if the marketing office has enough imagination to make it work.
The long weekend and one week of the school holidays would be a perfect time to "relaunch" rail in Adelaide after the shutdowns hitting the south over the last few years. Such a launch could include the first public services on the EMUs on Noarlunga-Seaford shuttles (especially if Kevin calls the election later than Julia's 14/9 date) and a week of free or discounted fares across the whole rail system to win back commuters and sell rail as an attractive option to new users.
If September/October can't be met or a shuttle would not be palatable, then the next good milestone would be to do it alongside the launch of the other big DPTI project approaching completion around the same time - the official opening of Adelaide Oval for the Ashes Test Match in early December.
Late January would be a big opportunity, to launch the electric service with free train fares through the Tour Down Under week to promote the system, most importantly for the team presentation and city stages (including other Australia Day events in the city) and with a special bus transfer system to Willunga on the Saturday.
Plenty of good opportunities over the coming six months to make a big song and dance about it without being a blatantly obvious election campaign stunt.