The Outer Harbor and Grange train services have been closed for a while as works on the Torrens Rail Junction Project have been carried out. Commuters to the western suburbs have had to rely on substitute bus services in the meantime, causing a great deal of inconvenience to people who usually travel by train.
Both Grange and Outer Harbor railway lines re-opened in January, and the government has promised free train travel for everyone on these services until January 28 to compensate for the trouble caused to passengers. For people who haven't taken these train trips before, it's a golden opportunity to go west and explore - here are some tips of fun things to do on your free train ride.
See Industrial Heritage Buildings in Bowden and Brompton
Bowden Bowden and Brompton are historic suburbs that are slowly being gentrified. Hop off at Bowden railway station to take a heritage walk and admire the old architecture, or look at the new housing which is now on the market just minutes from the city. Call into Plant 4 Markets for lunch and a drink, or eat at the conveniently located Loose Caboose Cafe in the old Bowden railway station.
Port Adelaide You might need to devote a day to Port Adelaide on your free train trip. There are so many fun things to do in the Port that it's hard to finish it all in less than a day. Wander down to the South Australian Maritime Museum, the current exhibition is Leviathan: An Astonishing History of Whales, which is a pretty cool thing to do on a summer's day. Your ticket also gets you into the lighthouse free, so you can check out the views from the top.
Take a look around the Port River and admire the maritime heritage and amazing collection of vessels there - you may catch a dolphin if you are quick. Head west to Hart's Mill and its award winning playground, then take a walk on the Anna Rennie Path (previously Port Adelaide Loop Path.
Glanville Glanville is the closest railway station to Semaphore, a buzzing coastal community that I love to visit. Take a stroll down bustling Semaphore Road to take in the amazing buildings, cool cafes, and friendly casual atmosphere. If you've got kids the foreshore amusement park is just the place to go in January. Another highlight is joining the Coast Park walking trail which runs between North Haven and Sellicks Beach.
There are so many gigantic cruise ships visiting Outer Harbor that you have a good chance of seeing one if you come down by train. Check the cruise liner schedule for dates, or just head down to the Lady Ruthven Reserve where there's a playground and you can watch people fishing.
For over a hundred years people from miles around have flocked to Grange by train, as it's only a short walk to the beach. It may not be as busy now as it once was because more people travel by car, but Grange has gone through a renaissance lately. Grab a coffee and cake at the bakery, or fresh fish and chips on the foreshore before taking a walk on the jetty. For a longer historical walk follow this heritage trail.
Do you have other tips to use free train travel in January? There are so many fun things to do along the Grange and Outer Harbor railway lines that we couldn't cover them all. Tell us your favourites in the comments!