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Adelaide train failure: Govt was warned, say Libs


UPDATED: The Opposition says the State Government was warned years ago that the Seaford rail line had an infrastructure flaw which mean it was vulnerable to a power failure.

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As a power outage on the line continued into its second day, Liberal transport spokesman David Pisoni said he had obtained an independent report containing the warning.

The document titled “Brief Independent Overview of Adelaide Electrification – June 2012″ said the lack of a second feeder station at the north end of the line would cause service suspension in the case of an outage.

“The lack of a second feeder station at the north end of the line means that services would be suspended every time the OHLE (overhead line estimate) requires isolation somewhere north of Lonsdale…,” the report says.

“A second feeder station in the Adelaide area would mean that services could continue to operate to some point south clear of any OHLE isolation.”

Pisoni said Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan should explain why the outage continued and “how he is intending to compensate passengers left stranded by the latest shutdown of the Seaford line”.

Mullighan will hold a press conference this afternoon.

It’s the second time the Opposition has used the document to criticise the Government’s record on trains. Pisoni’s predecessor in the transport portfolio, Corey Wingard, last year used the report to question why the Seaford electrification was put ahead of the Gawler line electrification.

Hundreds were stranded for several hours on Thursday morning after a circuit breaker failure hit the Seaford line in the southern suburbs.

Substitute buses and diesel rail cars are being used as Adelaide Metro works to restore power 24 hours later.

“We do apologise to our customers and we really thank them for their patience,” spokeswoman Caroline Kelly told ABC radio.

“We know it’s been a very dreary morning for people. It’s not ideal but hopefully it’s a little bit smoother than yesterday morning.”

Adelaide Metro still doesn’t know what caused the power failure and said back-up systems couldn’t be activated until a safety inspection and testing regime was complete.

It aims to have Seaford trains running before the afternoon peak hour.

– with AAP

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