The Australian Conservatives have backed the proposal for an Encounter Fast Rail linking the Fleurieu with Adelaide, pledging to contribute $500,000 to the business case if elected next month.
If the fast rail came to fruition, a 200 kilometre per hour train would service towns across the south coast, incorporating the existing Belair Line, the Overland Railway, the Southeastern Freeway and the Victor Harbor Railway.
Stage one of the project would see a line created between Mount Barker and Adelaide and stage two would extend the line to Strathalbyn and then Victor Harbor.
The expected time from Victor Harbor to Adelaide would be 53 minutes.
The party committed to the project after Member of the Legislative Council Robert Brokenshire met with Professor Richard Blandy, one half of the brains trust behind the concept.
“We are talking about the delivery of fast rail between Mount Barker, Murray Bridge, Strathalbyn, Victor Harbor and Adelaide. Something that is long overdue,” Mr Brokenshire said.
“South Australia is the only mainland state with no passenger rail service to regional areas and this affects jobs, impacts greatly on tourism and limits the potential of our great state.”
He said the fast rail would offer safer options than further congestion on the South Eastern Freeway and save hundreds of millions of dollars of upgrades to the freeway and Victor Harbor road.
“We need to look at projects that are going to strengthen the economy and population opportunities into the next 50 years. And on the face of it, this project seems to be a project that would be very worthwhile,” he said.