TransAdelaide is a publicly owned corporation which provides suburban train and tram services in Adelaide, South Australia, under contract to the Government of South Australia.

Between 1 July 1994 and 22 April 2000 TransAdelaide also operated local bus services in Adelaide. All metropolitan bus routes have since been transferred to private companies, but TransAdelaide has retained the contract to maintain and operate the rail system until at least April 2010.

TransAdelaide is part of the Adelaide Metro public transport system. Adelaide Metro is a trading brand of the S.A. Government’s [ Office of Public Transport] , which provides funding, coordination and a central publicity and marketing service for public transport in the city. Adelaide Metro also administers the Metroticket system, which allows unlimited transfers between all buses, trains and trams in the Adelaide metropolitan area within a ticket’s period of validity.


TransAdelaide is a corporate body, wholly owned by the Government of South Australia. It was established on 1 July 1994 as a result of the [ "Passenger Transport Act 1994"] .

This legislation replaced South Australia’s previous government-controlled transit agency, the State Transport Authority (STA) with a new Public Transport Board (PTB), which coordinated and funded the public transport system, and TransAdelaide which actually operated the services. The aims of the change were to bring a more customer-focused approach to public transport, to reverse a long-term trend of falling passenger numbers, and to implement financial efficiencies to control increasing government subsidies required to maintain the system.

When formed, TransAdelaide took over control of the whole former STA bus network in Adelaide, as well as the suburban train system and the single remaining tram line to Glenelg. TransAdelaide ran buses from the seven STA depots at:*Aldgate:*Elizabeth:*Lonsdale:*Mile End:*Morphettville:*Port Adelaide:*St.AgnesThis was an interim arrangement, partly the result of a political deal to get the 1994 Act passed by the S.A. Parliament and partly to allow details of a competitive tendering arrangement to be put into place.

In early 1995, Adelaide’s public transport system was divided into a number of geographical contract areas. In September 1995 the first negotiated contract was awarded to Hills Transit (a wholly owned subsidiary of TransAdelaide) for bus services to Aldgate and Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills.

The first competitively tendered contracts for bus services in the metro area were awarded in January 1996 to Serco for the Outer North of the metro area and to TransAdelaide for the Outer South.

The [ "TransAdelaide (Corporate Structure) Act 1998"] came into effect in January 1999 and reformed the management structure of TransAdelaide. These changes provided the State Government with shareholder rights and obligations and gave TransAdelaide the opportunity to operate with a clear business charter under the guidance of a politically independent and commercially astute Board of Directors who have the professional skills and business backgrounds to provide a strong commercial influence on strategic decision-making.

The next round of contract negotiations in 2000 resulted in TransAdelaide losing all its remaining bus services to private operators Serco, [ Torrens Transit] , SouthLink and [ Transitplus] (although Transitplus is actually a joint venture between TransAdelaide and Australian Transit Enterprises).

Since April 2000, TransAdelaide’s core business has been operating the rail and tram systems. In April 2005 the Government renewed TransAdelaide’s contracts to operate and maintain the rail/tram system until April 2010.


Currently TransAdelaide operates four main rail lines and two branch lines, with a total length of 120 km. In 2006 there are 240 round-trip train journeys on Monday to Fridays (plus an extra two on Fridays), 95 on Saturdays and 88 on Sundays. In the 12 months to 30 June 2005, the train system was used by a total of 11.2 million passengers, while 2.1 million used the Glenelg tram.

Adelaide is the last suburban rail network in Australia to be electrified, with some funding provided in the 2008-09 State Budget to commence work. $245 million has been allocated to the Outer Harbor rail line and $209.7 million for the Noarlunga line. [cite web
title=AdelaideNow... SA Budget - Electric trains, trams to the Port
date=June 05, 2008
] The Proposed 10-year, $2 billion program intends to deliver 50 new electric trains, 58 3000 class railcars converted for electric use, 15 hybrid tram/trains. The 2000 class cars will be removed from suburban service. [cite web
title=AdelaideNow... State Budget 08 - Foley unveils $10bn infrastructure masterplan
date=June 05, 2008

After retiring the last of the aging Redhen railcars in 1996, TransAdelaide now operates 99 broad-gauge diesel railcars, split into four types - the diesel-hydraulic powered 2000 and 2100 classes and the diesel-electric 3000 and 3100 classes. All are maintained by Bombardier at a central depot adjacent to Adelaide station.

The Adelaide–Glenelg tram line is also operated and maintained by TransAdelaide. The tram line had underwent a major AU$71 million overhaul in 2005–2006 with new Bombardier Flexity light-rail vehicles replacing the aging H-type trams which had been in service since 1929. During 2007, the tram line was extended from its previous city terminus at Victoria Square along King William St. to the railway station.


3000 and 3100 class

The 3000-class are a diesel railcar with driving cabs at both ends that can operate singly, or in multiple with other 3000 and 3100-class units to build up trains of 2, 3 or 4 cars. 30 cars were delivered, al;l of which are in service. TransAdelaide regularly uses single cars on lightly-patronised routes such as the Tonsley and Grange lines, and on the main lines at weekends or in the evening.

The 3100-class railcars are generally similar to the 3000-class, but have only one driving cab per car. They always operate in pairs as two-car sets, or in multiple with other 3000 or 3100-class units to form longer trains. All 3100-class railcars are currently in service.

Both the 3000 and 3100-class units were built in two batches, by Clyde Engineering and Comeng. When delivered all 3000 and 3100-class railcars were painted in an orange and blue State Transport Authority livery. However by 2007 all 3000 and 3100 class railcars have been repainted into the South Australian State colours of yellow, blue and red which are standard across the Adelaide Metro bus and light rail fleets.

By 2018, 58 of the 70 cars will be converted to electric power with 12 remaining Diesel powered for Belair line services.

2000 and 2100 class

TransAdelaide’s 2000 & 2100-class units are a unique and somewhat unusual series of suburban diesel railcars. They are large, comfortable, air-conditioned cars, which are popular with local rail enthusiasts and regular commuters and have been given the nickname Jumbos. Jumbos come in two distinct varieties – the 2000-class power cars and 2100-class trailers. Each type has a single elevated driver’s cab at one end only, which means they must operate as a minimum 2-car set. Longer trains are built up by adding extra power cars and trailers with 6 cars being the maximum length.

Jumbos were conceived and designed in the late 1970s to provide fast commuter services to Adelaide's expanding suburbs. They perform much the same function today, being used mainly on weekday daytime services and working the busiest express trains in the morning and evening peaks. Off-peak, evening and weekend rail services in Adelaide are usually operated by the more economical 3000 & 3100-class units.

H class trams

The H class Adelaide tram have been the mainstay of the Glenelg tram line for 75 years since the line was converted from railway to tramway operation and electrified in 1929. Currently operated by TransAdelaide, most of the class have been replaced by new Bombardier Flexity Classic low floor trams.

Flexity trams

In 2006, TransAdelaide began to replace the H-class cars with a fleet of eleven new low floor articulated trams – the Flexity Classics, built by Bombardier in Germany. The first of the new Flexitys was delivered to the Glengowrie depot in November 2005, and entered public service on 9 January 2006. Delivery continued in small batches through 2006, with new trams operating the Glenelg line side-by-side with the H-class in the interim. The Flexitys are painted in a standard Adelaide Metro colour scheme of white, with yellow, blue and red ends, very similar to Adelaide’s metropolitan bus fleet.

ee also

*Adelaide Metro
*State Transport Authority


External links

* [ TransAdelaide] (official site)
* [ Adelaide Metro]
* [ South Australian Office of Public Transport]


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