THE Adelaide commuter rail network will close on February 19 and 20, the opening weekend of the Adelaide Fringe festival, Australia’s largest arts festival, to allow the configuration of the Gawler Line electrification and signalling with the rest of the network.

The project costs have also recently increased by $A 127m ($US 90.8m) on top of a $A 100m cost blow out last December, taking the total budget to $A 842m.

Work on the line, which runs from north from Adelaide to the town of Gawler, began in 2019 with services suspended since December 2020 with bus replacements in place. The 42km project, which was originally suggested in 2008, was due to be completed in 2020, and then November 2021, and is now scheduled to reopen in April.

However, the state government has announced that the delivery of the 12 three-car A City EMUs from Bombardier, now owned by Alstom, has also been delayed, with only three to be available from April with diesel units to be used to cover the shortfall.