|Location||St Vincent Street and Lipson Street|
|Line(s)||Outer Harbor Line|
|Distance||12.0 km from Adelaide|
Port Dock railway station was located in the commercial centre of Port Adelaide, South Australia at the corner of St Vincent Street and Lipson Street. This station was the original terminus of the railway between Adelaide and Port Adelaide, which opened in 1856.
Since closure in 1981, the site of the passenger station has been redeveloped as the Port Adelaide Police Station and Magistrates' Court. The former goods yard, adjacent to Lipson Street, is now occupied by the National Railway Museum. There have since been several proposals to rebuild the station, including a failed attempt in 2019.
The station was opened with the line from Adelaide in April 1856 and for the first sixty years until 1916, it was the only railway station in town and known simply as Port Adelaide. The original station was quite an impressive structure, with a large curved roof over the platforms. Facing St Vincent Street was a two-storey stone building, which also included a tower. The two side platforms were about 120–150 metres in length each, and the platform architecture was the same as the platforms at the Bowden and Alberton stations.
In February 1868 a direct line was built from Dry Creek to Port Adelaide to allow goods and minerals from the state's mid-north and the Murray River to reach the Port directly, without needing to travel via Adelaide. In 1878 a railway was opened from Port Adelaide to Semaphore. This followed a different route to today's line as far as Glanville. The Semaphore line emerged from the western side of Port Adelaide station, travelled down the middle of St Vincent Street and crossed the Port River via the Jervois Bridge before curving to join the current alignment of the Outer Harbor line into Glanville station. Steam trains travelled through Port Adelaide's commercial centre at walking speed, with the locomotive crew ringing a bell. Even at that time this arrangement was unsatisfactory for both local citizens and the railway operators.
By the end of the 19th Century the goods yard had become very busy with materials being imported and exported from South Australia via Port Adelaide and there was a large engine shed and turntable to service the various steam locomotives working in the area. A number of railway lines extended from the station yard via city streets to the wharves and various private sidings. Occasional passenger boat trains also travelled directly to the wharves, transferring passengers to and from ocean-going ships which berthed in the inner harbour at the time.
Congestion around Port Adelaide yard resulted in the opening of the Rosewater Loop line in November 1915 and construction of the Commercial Road viaduct which opened in 1916. The viaduct line continued over a new bridge across the Port River and joined the existing line to Semaphore and Outer Harbor at Glanville. With the new viaduct, a high level station was opened, called Port Adelaide Commercial Road. The original Port Adelaide station was renamed Port Dock to differentiate the two. After 1916 the frequent trains to and from Adelaide mostly continued through to Semaphore or Outer Harbor via the new line and Commercial Road became the Port's main railway station. Port Dock continued to be served by irregular trains from Adelaide and peak hour workings to Dry Creek via the Rosewater Loop.
By the second half of the 20th century, the various lines leading through the streets to the wharves were cut back. Wharf access was firstly restricted to the Canal branch, then disconnected completely. The boat train traffic was all transferred to Outer Harbor and in due course was also eliminated.
Port Dock Station became something of a backwater. The original buildings and remains of the overall roof were removed in 1963 and replaced with new buildings in the utilitarian style of that era. The station platforms were rebuilt to a length of about 70–80 metres to accommodate a maximum of three railcars, although it was very rare for a 3-car set to terminate at Port Dock, 2000–2100 class railcar sets would have only run through here for a year. The station was finally closed on 13 September 1981, with the last train being a 3-car Redhen railcar set. The station platforms were removed in 1987 while the redundant sidings and goods sheds were re-developed as a Bicentennial Project to house the former Mile End Railway Museum. The National Railway Museum opened on its site in Lipson Street on 10 December 1988.
In 2017 there was a proposal for a new railway station to be built near the location of the original site, based on a $16.4 million state budget allocation for a new rail station and a rebuilt 1-kilometre spur line off the existing Outer Harbor rail line. The new station would have been constructed next to Baker Street in Port Adelaide, using the existing corridor adjacent the National Railway Museum that connects it to the Outer Harbor railway line. However, it was announced in June 2019 that development has been "halted" indefinitely; the preparations for the failed project was reversed in January 2020.
- "Port Adelaide to get new train station served by 1km rail spur". ABC News. 24 June 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
- Kemp, Miles (24 June 2017). "State Budget 2017: Trains return to the heart of Port Adelaide after a 36-year absence". The Advertiser. Adelaide. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Adelaide's public transport going back to the future under Stephan Knoll ABC News, 21 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
- Pisani, Ashleigh (30 June 2017). "National Railway Museum warns issues to resolve before Port Dock Railway spur can return". Portside Messenger. Adelaide. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Pisani, Ashleigh (18 July 2018). "Barossa Wine Train booted from the Port". Portside Messenger. Adelaide. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- Rails Through Swamp and Sand – A History of the Port Adelaide Railway. M. Thompson pub. Port Dock Station Railway Museum (1988) ISBN 0-9595073-6-1