South Australia will invite bids shortly for a $1.4bn project to electrify capital city Adelaide’s rail network, the state’s TRANSPORT ministry has announced.

Work on the Seaford and Gawler lines is scheduled to begin in 2011 with the total electrified network expected to enter service by 2013.

The electrification is expected to improve rail services during hot weather, which suffer because of the existing tracks buckling in the heat with old wooden sleepers.

South Australian Transport Minister Patrick Conlon said the announcement means that this is the last summer to worry about the problem.