Belair Line


This is a summary of what can be found near each station.

A more detailed description of the line follows.

(Click on the station name to jump into the line side description at that point.)

Station Nearby Features
Mile End Athletics Stadium (under construction)
Netball Stadium (under construction)
Mt. Thebarton Ice Rink - the only(?) indoor snow skiing centre in Australia
Bonython Park (Adelaide Parklands)
Adelaide Gaol (Tours Available)
Keswick Interstate Rail Passenger terminal
Netball Fields
Wayville Showgrounds
Investigator Science Centre
Keswick Army Barracks: Army Museum
Goodwood Forestville Basketball Stadium
Unley Swimming Pool
Capri Cinema
Wayville Showgrounds
Glenelg Tram
Goodwood Park Hotel
Unley Park Big W Shopping Centre Cumberland Park 500 metres Bus Interchange
Circle Line (100) (Monday to Friday daytime only)
City - Clapham (203) - in Hilda Tce 100 metres east - city bound buses will take you to the King William Road Shopping precinct
Glenelg - Glen Osmond (650) (Monday to Friday School terms only)
Mitcham Historic Station
Mitcham Shopping Centre
Mitcham Community Centre
Mitcham Council Offices
Torrens Arms Hotel
Mitcham Village
Torrens Park Scotch College
Lynton Old Sleeps Hill Quarries - walking brochure available from the Mitcham Council.
Eden Hills -
Coromandel Wittunga Botanical Gardens
Blackwood Historic Station
Blackwood Shopping Centre
Gamble Cottage (contact the Mitcham Council)
Bus Interchange
194, 194H
195 - 198
728, 729, 738, 739
Glenalta Belair Hotel
Pinera -
Belair Historic Station
Belair Signal Cabin (National Trust)
Belair National Park - the first in South Australia and only the second in Australia

Services (as at 4th May 1997)

Monday to Friday

From Adelaide to Belair

All trains run express to Goodwood unless otherwise noted.

From Belair to Adelaide

All trains run all stations to Goodwood then express to Adelaide unless otherwise noted.


From Adelaide to Belair

All trains run express to Keswick then all stations to Belair

From Belair to Adelaide

All trains run all stations to Keswick, then express to Adelaide

Line Side description

The line leaves Adelaide station under the Morphett Street Bridge and passes the Railcar Depot on the left and the old Adelaide Gaol and Police Barracks on the right before heading under the Port Road Bridge, then the Bakewell Bridge to Mile End station.

Adelaide's West parklands are now on the left of the train, with the State Athletics Centre to the right.

After the next bridge, the Hilton Bridge, is the West Terrace Cemetery on the left, and on the right the State Netball Centre and the Interstate Rail Passenger Terminal.

Keswick station is just before the Keswick Bridge which carries the intersection of Anzac Highway, Greenhill Road and Richmond Road over the line.

It is a short walk to the interstate terminal from the Keswick station but first you have to climb those stairs ...

Close by on Richmond Road is Australian National Rail's headquarters and to the right is the Keswick Army Barracks. The Wayville Showgrounds is on the left. To visit the showgrounds alight at either Keswick or Goodwood. There are a number of events held each year in the showgrounds including the Royal Adelaide Show in September.

Also in the showgrounds area is the Investigator Science Centre, a hands on centre for the young, and not so young, wishing to gain an appreciation of science. This is on the Goodwood Road side of the showgrounds; Keswick is the more convenient station.

The Track Access Corporation main line joins the TransAdelaide tracks under the Keswick Bridge and runs to the west of the TransAdelaide tracks which reduce from 4 to 3 to allow this track space between Keswick and Goodwood.

The next station is Goodwood where the Unley Swimming Centre and Forestville Basketball Stadium are on the right.

The Glenelg tram line crosses the railway on a bridge. If you follow the tramway to the left you come to Goodwood Road and its shopping precinct, including the Capri Cinema, owned by the Theatre Organ Society of South Australia who have concerts on their restored organ at frequent intervals.

You can join the Glenelg tram at either Goodwood Road (to the east) or at Forestville to the west.

Just beyond Goodwood the Noarlunga Centre line branches off to the right and in the area between the lines is SASMEE Park run by the South Australian Society of Model and Experimental Engineers who have monthly open days with live model steam trains, etc. These are the first Sunday and third Saturday afternoons.

The Belair line very shortly becomes a single broad gauge track with the standard gauge Track Access line on the right. This line was once the up main before being converted to standard gauge.

The next road crossed is Goodwood Road which passes under the line in a subway built for the electric tram service to Colonel Light Gardens.

The station immediately past Goodwood Road is Millswood which was closed with the conversion of the up line to standard gauge.

The aspect from the train is now urban as the line passes through the more affluent suburbs of Millswood, Kings Park and Unley Park before reaching the Cross Road crossing and the Unley Park station where you can transfer to the Circle Line bus for a trip around Adelaide's inner suburbs.

The line continues through Hawthorn past the now disused Hawthorn station to Mitcham station which was built with the line. The Mitcham Council Offices are on the other side of Belair Road to the station and here you will be able to find the various walking brochures mentioned.

Mitcham station is also handy to the Mitcham Shopping Centre and the Torrens Arms Hotel, as well as KFC and Hungry Jacks outlets.

The age of the suburbs is obvious from the maturity of the trees in the streets and gardens. They date from the time of the railway.

Mitcham is the site of a crossing loop for TransAdelaide Railcars.

The grade becomes more noticeable after Mitcham.

The next station is Torrens Park named after the nearby residence of Sir Robert Torrens, once a Premier of South Australia.

His house now forms part of Scotch College which is a short distance away to the east.

The next station is the now closed Clapham where the line passes under Springbank Road and on to Lynton.

Alight here for a walking tour of the old Sleeps Hill Quarries but please be very aware of trains on both the tracks.

See the Mitcham Council (get off at Mitcham) for a tour brochure.

The line then runs along the side of the Eden Escarpment and to the right is a view over the suburbs to the sea and beyond.

To the right are the old Sleeps Hill Quarries.

At the Sleeps Hill crossing loop you can see the remains of the old Stone Crusher and behind it the old Council Dump in what was the main part of the Sleeps Hill Quarries.

The line passes through a short cutting which was once the site of a bridge before entering the Sleeps Hill tunnel.

Just beyond this cutting, but before the tunnel, you can see the portal of the original No 1 Sleeps Hill tunnel if you look out to the right of the train along the fairly obvious old alignment.This was also the site of the Sleeps Hillplatform which closed when Lynton was opened.

Once the train is on the other side of the tunnel you can see what remains of the footings and abutments of the old viaducts and if you look back over your shoulder as you pass the second of these you can see the southern portal of the original No. 2 Sleeps Hill Tunnel.

You can walk through the Watiparinga Reserve from Ayliffes Road St Marys to the old viaducts. There is a car park on Ayliffes Road or you could catch a Flinders University (210, 216) Happy Valley (218) or Aberfoyle Hub (218A) bus from Adelaide and get off at stop 12A in Ayliffes Road.

The line is now as steep as it gets as it winds its way up to Eden Hills.

Next follows the Shepherds Hill tunnel, or to be more precise 2 tunnels each single track.

The TransAdelaide line uses the original No 3 tunnel, while the Track Access line uses the more recent and much larger up line tunnel built when the line was duplicated in 1926.

Just beyond the tunnel is the Eden Hills Crossing Loop where most trains cross during the day Monday to Friday. To the east is an old council dump which was once the site of a brickworks served by a rail siding.

The uphill haul continues past Blackwood High School and the Wittunga Botanical Garden on your left to Coromandel.

Shortly after Coromandel the line passes under the Coromandel Parade bridge high above it. This cutting was once a tunnel which was opened out when the line was duplicated.

The next station is Blackwood which was opened with the line and is now a crossing point on the line.

Blackwood station serves a thriving shopping precinct.

Not far away is Gamble Cottage which is open from time to time. See the Mitcham Council for more detail.

Glenalta! Time for refreshments. The hotel adjacent to the station, the Belair Hotel, has a very pleasant dining area overlooking the valley and the National Park (and, as it happens, the railway).

The Main Road is crossed for the first time here.

The next station is Pinera which is just beyond the second Main Road crossing which is a bridge over the line. This too was once a tunnel but was opened out when the line was duplicated.

The terminus at Belair is not far away.

This station is built next to the Belair National Park which is the oldest in South Australia, and the second oldest in Australia.

A walk down the avenue to the main kiosk will bring you into the park.

The Belair Station is on the State Heritage Register and is maintained in good order.

The signal cabin houses a display of the original equipment and is open from time to time. Contact the National Trust or the Mitcham Council for details.

If you feel so inclined you could walk up to Sheoak Road (to the north) and then down James Road and Old Belair Road and Blythwood Road to the Torrens Park Station.

You will probably be quicker than the train.

Neil Waller, Adelaide June 1997

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