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Trainspotting locations

Why am I putting these spots on the web for all to see? Because I don't get the opportunity to visit these places as often as I'd like.


  1. Near the Adelaide CBD
    1. Montefore Bridge (Suburban)
    2. North Adelaide
    3. Bridges west of CBD, Keswick
  2. North of the CBD
  3. South of the CBD, Melbourne line.

Near the CBD

Location Adelaide city
What to expect Suburban passenger trains. Lots of operations. Yards and more. 8 + lines.
Accessibility Tricky road access. Pay parking, or travel by train and walk.
Where? Motefore Rd, near the bridge. See map.

There are a few possibilities here. There's the bridge where I took a photo from, or the roads near the bridge. Along North Terrace. The all-day car park. Sometime I'll draw a map to make it easier.

Location North Adelaide. Close to Adelaide station and Keswick terminal.
What to expect Low speed Interstate standard gauge passenger and freight trains. Medium speed suburban passenger trains.

Easy access, easy shady parking. Danger: Watch out for stray golf balls!

Few suburban trains stop here, none on weekends. Check the timetable first!

Where? War Memorial Drive. Map 1 in most directories. Find a spot along there around North Adelaide station. By rail, de-train at North Adelaide.

This is a good spot to have a break while around the city, relaxing, shady and quiet. Can park at the North Adelaide station (don't believe the directories, trains still stop there, but not all of them). A bit further down the Pt Adelaide line joins. Freight and interstate passenger trains will be going slowly as they're close to Keswick, and have to cross suburban lines. This location is very clean and green, great if you don't like dirty railways and industrial areas. It's like a country escape next to the heart of the CBD! Due to its central location there's lots of suburban traffic, also interstate passenger services (except The Overland) and some freight services (to/from Melbourne?) go past here. Reduced speeds on most lines allow for better oportunities

Bridges west of the CBD, including Keswick.

Location North Terrace - Pt Road bridge
What to expect Suburban passenger trains. Some freight and GSR trains. Adelaide bypass triangle.
Accessibility Advanced
Where? Park on western end of North Tce, or take a City Free bus from the train station. Walk north-west on the northern side of the road, past the Goninan maintenance facility and yards. Can cross at lights and return on other side.

On the walk in there are some interesting things to be seen at the maintenance facility, as well as some plaques. This bridge has the advantage of pedestrian facilities on both sides, and traffic lights to cross. If you see a lot of police cars it's because their barracks are nearby, the Old Adelaide Goal (tourist) can also be seen.

Location Mile End bridge
What to expect Quadruple suburban passenger trains, local and long distance freight operations. Train washer. Lots of tracks.
Accessibility Medium - by car involves a short walk, trains often express this station

By car, park just north of the bridge outside the CBD. Proceed by foot on the western (away from CBD) footpath. Walk under the bridge, there are stairs on the other side. Climb stairs.

By rail, de-train at Mile End. Check timetable as many trains run express.

This bridge offers a vood view of the rail lines heading south with lots of lines and lots of switches. Signals can be seen for next block or two. For a circular walk, return via the train station. I think it's worth the effort.

Location Hilton bridges
What to expect Suburban passenger trains. Local and long distance freight operations
Accessibility Moderate
Where? Head west from Grote St (or West Tce) toward Burbridge Rd. Park in a parking bay on the left, just before "Catholic Cemetary Rd". Proceed on foot.

Normally heaps of parking, and often other pedestrians. Bus stop. Can see Keswick freight bypass, and workshops at Keswick. A moderate walk from parking bays to freight lines - there are lots of lines here. No known rail access.

Location Keswick bridge
What to expect Suburban passenger trains. Local and long distance freight operations. Keswick overview. Car storage at Keswick.
Accessibility Moderate
Where? Enter the GSR Keswick rail terminal from either Richmond or Burbridge Rd. Find a park at the southern end (Richmond Rd end). Remeber tickets. Proceed by foot up the car entry to Richmond Rd, turn left and follow footpath onto bridge. Take stairs on left down. Many possible locations. Can take pedestrian underbridge for southern view.

This is an interesting location which may be a bit obscure, but could give some interesting views. Proximity to Keswick an advantage. Good views over Keswick


Location Dry Creek, (industrial area). Adelaide side of marshalling yards.
What to expect Freight and passenger services on standard and broad gauges. Many lines. Low to moderate speed operation due to corners and switches, except on the suburban lines. Other trainspotters and rail workers.
Accessibility Good. Car parking, fairly unobstructed view. Low traffic, but watch out for trucks.

Henschke St, Dry Creek. Turn on to Magazine Rd from either Cormack or Churchill Rds. Henschke St is opposite a load of gas pipes and valves, a hazardous waste depot on the corner. Drive to the end but don't block access to the lines, rail workers use this entrance. Also don't block the view with your car!

By rail, de-train at Dry Creek and gunzel from the platforms. Bus 235 also services this station.

It's interesting to see the maze of tracks here, a broad gauge line crosses a number of standards to join the dual gauge line to Pt Adelaide. Can be lots of operations, but sometimes a fair gap to wait. The level crossing can get quite busy, be careful.

Other ideas for the northern standard gauge line:

Anywhere from where the line branches (from the broad gauge) at the DSTO is fairly open, the minor roads could be good however I advise gunzells to keep clear of the DSTO, especially with current world situations. Virginia might offer some possibilities, however be aware most street directories have incorrect station information for the standard guage line once it has left the broad guage lines. At the site of one "station" are farm buildings. I think the origional station has been demolished, very little evidence from the road.

The suburban stations from Adelaide to just before Elizabeth - some are single island platform, some are dual platform.

Ideas for the Adelaide-Melbourne line in the Hills:

Thanks to James C. from the aus.rail newsgroup for the following suggestions:

Mount Lofty or Belair are the best place, from Tuesday to Saturday, 4 times a week NRC train would meet Overland there at Mt Lofty, and Patrick meets Overland at Belair, once a week Ghan meets Overland at Belair. Best time to be in any of these 2 places, between 7am and 11am Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Apparently in the mornings there can be some surprises as passengers wake up not realizing there's civilization outside the window. I have some suggestions, but never actually trainspotted there:

Location Balhannah (Disused Station, passing loop on main line)
What to expect Mainline trains, medium speed due to all the curves.
Accessibility Park with caution. Easy to locate.
Where? Junction Rd, Balhannah, Adelaide Hills. Take the Verdun freeway exit from the city, turn L then R, through Verdun then along line to Balhannah. Cross the line, take 2nd R in town (or 1st R then again). To park, I cross the lines, turn right (note give way situation - good idea!) then carefully do a U-turn near the gate, careful not to block it.

This is a passing loop that probably needs extending. I'm not sure if it is used, it could easily be extended, except that it has a level crossing partway along it(!) Could really infuriate road traffic to have a train parked across the crossing for some time. Maybe they could shift the road crossing. Also a disused station that now seems to be a trackwork depot. Other possibilities are near Spoher Rd, there's a gravel area where a truck trailer is often parked. Also Ambleside station (disused for ages, but looks interesting with all the trees). Alternatively, drive further along Junction road. Further up is Balhannah Junction where the Victor Harbour line (tourist railway now run by SteamRanger) used to branch off. Since its a different gauge (original broad gauge) it's apparently not connected anymore.

Location Nairne
What to expect Mainline trains.
Accessibility Easy. Mt Barker exit on Freeway.
Where? Main Rd, Nairne between the school crossing and the level crossing.

There is a park along the main rd near the main line. Picnic lunch while trainspotting? Also on Woodside Rd near the crossing is an old elevated water tank. (North Railway Tce). I have visited friends in Nairne and frequently heard freight trains. Apparently there's a passing loop around here somewhere, railways want to extend it but the residents are complaining (noise, pollution).

Location Mount George
What to expect Mainline trains at a significant elevation! Limited visibility (no panorama but should be able to get maybe 10-15 carriages)
Accessibility Moderate: involves walking, windy roads could be confusing.
Where? Walk from Bridwater Hotel, or back roads (Need exploring)

This certainly provides a different angle to trainspotting. From Bridgewater Hotel, walk past the water wheel, there a path that heads up the hill. Follow path along and up the hill, soon you'll go under the trainline with a creek (elevated walkway, but caution if it's raining) On the other side walk until you have a good viewpoint. It is possible to climb on to the track (very naughty!). There is a car park near there, it could be in Deanery Reserve on the Old Mt Barker Rd. Alternatively there's a park near the end of Mt George Rd, walk under the freeway (underpass with murals).

Other spots are the various stations along the line. Beware that some stations may now be private property or businesses. Within Belair National Park there are apparently some good spots, however be prepared to pay an entry fee. RailPage has instructions for this area and photos.

Back Last updated 25/11/2001.