Trams start running on Adelaide’s North Terrace extension seven months late


Posted

October 13, 2018 09:33:26

A tram has trundled along the length of Adelaide’s North Terrace for the first time in 60 years.

The first tram left the Adelaide Entertainment Centre towards the Botanic at 7:03am this morning, seven months after the line was originally meant to open and two and a half months after the second “set in stone” opening date of July 29.

A new tram timetable including the new service was released by surprise last night.

Opposition transport spokesman Tom Koutsantonis said the short notice was a State Government media stunt.

“This is all about politics,” he said.

“They wanted to create maximum impact for a media statement so they gave commuters almost no notice whatsoever of a timetable change and a new route and I think its a recipe for chaos and I hope the Minister thought this through.”

Transport Minister Stephan Knoll will speak later this morning.

About 10 people caught the first service.

“It’s a really nice experience for my sons to ride the tram,” one woman said.

“It’s just a tram,” another passenger said.

The 1-kilometre tram extension, which was promised by the previous Labor Government, and was originally slated for completion in March at a cost of $90 million, but has been plagued by delays and cost blowouts.

A July 29 opening date which Mr Knoll said was “set in stone” was also moved after a mysterious signalling issue which required experts from overseas to be flown in to fix.

All of Adelaide’s tram services apart from the one between the city and Glenelg stopped in 1958.

The Glenelg line was extended to Morphett Street in 2007 and Hindmarsh in 2010.

At the March state election, the Liberal Party promised to allow trams to turn right from King William Street into North Terrace — at a cost of $35 million — while Labor promised an extension of the North Terrace tram to Kent Town and Norwood.

Last month, it was revealed the North Terrace extension could cost up to $44 million more than budgeted, but how much of that taxpayers would contribute was unclear.

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