When checking on progress of wiring at Oaklands last Thursday, I spoke to one of the workers who was finishing work for the day at the depot a few hndred metres to the East of the station. I asked if they would be continuing immediately with linking up Oaklands to the completed wiring at Hove. He told me that they wouldn't, as another group had the contract for that section. If this is correct, it would explain the very apparent discontinuity of what would seem to be the logical process of proceeding linearly. It is much easier to finish the electrification if the contractors have virtually unlimited occupancy, but the delay in re-opening diesel electric services (with cars that internally are as good as any I have encountered anywhere) is now becoming very tiresome.
I think that the S.A Government must be very aware that their electoral prospects are being very severely compromised by further undue delays. If they are not, then they are fools. That said, the present Labor government has done more in the past few years to bring our suburban transport (on which I am almost entirely dependent) up to date than by either political party in my entire lifetime before.
As for the delays in delivering rolling stock, perhaps the builders do have a 'take it or leave it' approach, protected by the obscene costs of litigation that would give any government (or private person) pause before participation in it. Oh for the days when the state railways had their own construction facilities and loyal, permanently employed real experts in their respective fields. The deliberate retrenchment of thousands of government employees in many departments over the years of the privatization craze – which has always cost the community much
more than what it replaced – is coming home to roost with a vengeance.