South Australia's surge of infrastructure redevelopment continues with the opening of the new Adelaide Showground train station on February 17. Located on the south east corner of the intersection of Anzac Highway and Greenhill Road, the station will be a boon for visitors to the Royal Adelaide Show and other exhibitions at the grounds.
The Former Keswick Train Station Has Been Demolished
This brand new station replaces the smaller old Keswick train station which was located on the other side of the Keswick Bridge. The Keswick train station had no disabled access and was little used because of its poor visibility underneath the bridge.
A Crowd at the Wayville Showgrounds Train Station in 1938 (Courtesy State Library of SA B7798/496)
The new Adelaide Showground railway station also replaces the temporary Showground Central Station which was erected every year for the Royal Adelaide Show, and is situated immediately adjacent to Keswick Barracks. It should significantly reduce the demand for Royal Adelaide Show parking by making commuting on the train a simple and pleasant experience.
Undercover Platforms at Adelaide Showgrounds Railway Station
Two large new under cover platforms will service trains on the Belair, Seaford and Tonsley branch lines, with lifts and ramps to provide easy access to all levels. The station will simplify connections between services on these lines.
The design of the new Adelaide Showground train station is extremely modern, making no attempt to blend with the surrounding landscape. Some might find that attractive, although to me it seems a bit "in your face". However the station isn't that visible when driving by on the nearby busy roads, so that's not a major issue.
The station will make access to local facilities such as the Wayville Showgrounds Farmers Market, the Ashford Hospital and businesses on Anzac Highway rather easier. Visitors to the Keswick Barracks Army Museum and their Heritage Walk will also find the station's proximity very handy.
Entry to Station From Ramp Adjacent to Keswick Barracks
The new location of the Adelaide Showground railway station is also potentially a boon for developers. It's been clear for a long time that certain interests would like to create a new inner city housing estate near where the heritage listed Keswick Barracks headquarters building is located. Having a railway station mere metres away will make this proposition even more attractive.
Australian Army Plaque With 1914 Map of Keswick Barracks
It's a little ironic that the new station is being opened almost exactly one hundred years after a siding was built to service the Keswick Barracks in 1915. With the First World War still building momentum, there was a pressing need to move men and materials fast. Keswick Barracks' location next to the railway line made this task much easier.
Railway enthusiast will find many more historical photos of Keswick train station at Johnny's Pages.
The Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure (DPTI) has a community information page for the project, which offers far better information than their Media Management staff can offer. See here for a brochure selling all the benefits of the new Adelaide Showground train station.
Plaque Commemorating the Opening of Keswick Bridge by Don Dunstan