Melbourne–Adelaide railway

Melbourne–Adelaide railway
Locale Victoria and South Australia
Predecessor Victorian Railways and South Australian Railways
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Previous gauge converted from 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
Melbourne-Adelaide railway
Melbourne–Sydney railway
Western SG line
Vic–SA border
Adelaide–Wolseley railway
to Crystal Brook and the East–West
and Adelaide–Darwin railways

The Melbourne–Adelaide railway is a standard gauge railway corridor that runs between the cities of Melbourne, Victoria and Adelaide, South Australia.[1] Most of the current traffic is freight, though the only named and perhaps best known regular train is the twice-weekly passenger service The Overland, operated by Great Southern Railways


In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Victorian Railways and South Australian Railways broad gauge networks were extended. The South Australian main line, the Adelaide-Wolseley line, was connected to the Victorian system at Serviceton in 1887. This was the first single gauge inter-colonial link in Australia.[2]

Conversion to standard gauge and rerouting

In 1995, the line was converted to standard gauge, under the One Nation program and rerouted between Melbourne and Ararat in Victoria, to run on the line via North Shore and Cressy.[3]

Calls for a standard gauge line between Melbourne and Adelaide were made as early as 1983, with studies between VicRail and Australian National at the time suggesting figures of around $400 million to construct, and various routes, including via Serviceton and Ararat, or via Pinnaroo, Ouyen and Maryborough.[4]

Track and gauge

The line is single track the entire route with the exception of a short dual gauge section near Melbourne, and a number of 1,500–1,600 m (4,900–5,200 ft) passing loops every 15–45 km (9.3–28.0 mi).

Some branches have also been converted to standard gauge.



  1. "AusLink Network Corridors". Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  2. "ARHS Railway Museum: History 1839 – 1900". Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  3. "ARHS Railway Museum: History 1950 – now". Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  4. "General News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. February 1983. p. 19.


  • Avery, Rod (2006). Freight Across the Nation: The Australian Superfreighter Experience. Brisbane: Copyright Publishing Co. ISBN 1876344474. 

Coordinates: 36°22′26″S 140°57′54″E / 36.373951°S 140.965087°E / -36.373951; 140.965087

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