In the southernmost area of Australia, there is a city named Adelaide. It is a huge city with over 1,345,777 million inhabitants. It is actually a quite big city in Australia.

So all of the people living in it deserve to have great public transportation that must serve all of the areas in the city. Buses are ancient and they pollute. They can’t also coup with a huge amount of people too.

Adelaide is a very interesting city in Australia that consists of a light rail system, a quite ok local train network, and buses that use a stretch that is called O-Bahn.

I wish however that the network size of the light rail network should have been much bigger than it is. This city deserves to breathe more.


  • Opened in 1873
  • 3 light rail lines
  • Runs to Glenelg suburb
  • Connects with the central train station
  • Got O-Bahn busway that should also support light rail
  • In Europe, such a city would have railway public transport covering all of the city
photosource: Robert Korsantes – This is a fantastic 3D model of Citadis trams used in Adelaide, Australia

In fact, many European cities with the same amount of population in the world cover the entire city with at least a Metro, a light rail or something combined. So it is a fact that Adelaide isn’t the worst one in Australia at all. The city is much more covered than other cities in the country. So, that is a good thing.

Adelaide got Light Rail since 1873

Since the 4th of August 1873. The Glenelg light rail route has been running between Adelaide and Glenelg.


First, this light rail line was operated as a steam railway (including the street running sections at both ends of the line). Then the Glenelg line was converted to tramway operation in 1929.

Today, the Glenelg route runs mostly on its own right-of-way and is seen as a modern light rail line, which means that it doesn’t get stuck in any traffic jam at almost the entire route except for a small stretch in Glenelg.

Some of the stretches in Adelaide differs

There are sections that do have different track layout. But it is not enough to make me call it a tramway. The first one is through Adelaide city center, which is part of the northern extension part that opened on the 14th of October 2007 which is 1.6 kilometers long.


But this one is mostly built so that none of the light rail trains gets stuck in the traffic. The other section that differs is that the service runs on a reserved lane and in Glenelg town center where it actually meets car traffic.

Here the stretch reminds a bit of the chaotic tramway system that Melbourne in Australia got. They should do something about it as this place is too beautiful. Just look at how Gold Coast light rail did it. Now is the time to preserve our nature and that is not to invite cars. Build big parking lots near the edges of the light rail network and get people to use the til light rail network.

A further 2.8 kilometer was then extended for the northwestern extension of the line along Port Road to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. This section opened on the 22nd of March 2010.

Here is the entire light rail tramway network in Adelaide

Lots of Comfort with Alstom Citadis from Madrid, Spain

In the City of Adelaide. There’s been extensions built and that is great. The Light Rail Extension along North Terrace to East End with three stops, plus a short spur to Festival Plaza opened on the 13th of October 2018.

So, the light rail system in Adelaide has slowly been upgraded since 2007 and is still getting further expansions. Which is a positive thing? Adelaide needs this service to cover the entire city. The O-Bahn stretch should be converted to have light rails too. Just look at how they have done it in Oberhausen, Germany below

Sort of O-Bahn but with light rail tramway section also use the busway

I really recommend anyone that loves to see a new light rail system in the world to visit and ride with the one in Adelaide which is getting extended even now.

Because this is one of the most interesting new light rail systems in Australia. The entire light rail system uses Bombardier Flexity Classic low-floor cars and Alstom Citadis from Madrid in Europe on the system. These are very nice light-rail trains.

All of them are low floors so anyone can use them. So all of them are compatible with people using strollers and wheelchairs. When a system supports all types of people the whole atmosphere in any city changes. The dignity of people is what’s important to preserve.

But I must ask why the light rail slowdowns happen even on straight stretches?

Recommended Adelaide Destinations

Glenelg pier can be reached with just a few steps from Glenelg light rail station

With the light rail in Adelaide, you can reach Glenelg which is a beach-side suburb of Adelaide. Located on the shore of Holdfast Bay in Gulf St Vincent, it has become a tourist destination due to its beach and many attractions, home to several hotels and dozens of restaurants.


The mainline inside Adelaide can take you to the stunning Botanic Garden in the city too. So if you visit this town and want to see some exotic plants and smell fresh air then this is a very good choice.

So if you are tired of city life and want to go somewhere quick to see something else. Including Glenelg, there are areas that you can check out. You can also visit Kangaroo Island which is Australia’s third-largest island, after Tasmania and Melville Island. SeaLink operates the ferry service between mainland South Australia and Kangaroo Island. Each crossing takes approximately 45 minutes.

For getting the ferry there is a bus service linking Adelaide with Cape Jervis.

The route of this Glenelg light rail line is 26 stops. So the trip takes about 40 minutes from the city center of Adelaide. But it is worth it for light rail enthusiasts and for those that want to experience a nice ride.

Light Rail in Adelaide Fare, Ticket and Price info

All of the passengers in Glenelg, Australia can take the light rail line for free between Moseley Square and Brighton Road. But in all other places, people need to pay.

Just don’t get caught without a ticket here. A standard fine of $220 applies with a maximum penalty of $1.250. So make sure that you have a valid ticket at all times when taking public transportation in the area.

A very positive thing in Adelaide is that the MetroTicket or metroCARD fare is valid for two hours from the first validation and you can use it on bus, tram or train as many times in those two hours. Unless you have a seniors metroCARD which you validated in the free period prior then try to transfer onto another service after the free period has ended.

For more vital information about the tickets and routes for other types of Public Transportation systems such as buses and trains can be in Adelaide. Please do check out Adelaide Metro Transport website which contains anything that you need about where to buy and everything about the prices. There is also a very nice FAQ page about Everything you need to know.

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