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Hopes Dashed for Hills Passenger Trial

January 30, 2024 6:36 am in by

The dream of a passenger train trial in the Adelaide Hills could be over, following the revelation there has been a misunderstanding between the State Government and the Spainsh train manufacturer, Talgo.

Talgo was planning to undergo a trial service, utilising existing tracks, from Mount Barker to Adelaide.

In April 2022, the company applied for an EU grant to ship its vehicles to Adelaide for a trial.

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SA Minister Tom Koutsantonis has told the ABC that since then, during a meeting with Talgo at the International Renewable Energy Conference in Spain, company officials said they had thought the town in Adelaide Hills town was much larger and further from the CBD than it actually was.

According to the Minister, the potential operators said they were more interested in commuter trains between large capital cities, like Sydney and Melbourne.

Independent Kavel MP, Dan Cregan, who has been advocating for passenger rail in the region, said that the news should not dissuade the Government from investigating the inclusion of rail in the region.

“Nobody is going to convince me that rail is not viable – old railcars could do the trip to Mount Barker in about an hour and higher power to weight-ratio cars could also do it today,” Dan Cregan told the ABC.

“Let’s be brutally frank, if the government put out a tender for rail to the Hills tomorrow many suppliers would bid for that contract and Talgo might well be amongst them.”

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